Green Fingers

This garden gnome has been busy greening her garden with the help of her Gardening Angel, Frans,  and making it far prettier than when we moved in. Whilst any garden is always a work in progress (there is ALWAYS room for one more rose bush or fuchsias!) I am very pleased with the results – for now. We’ve removed the half circle of lavender, extended the bottom bed and moved all the paving to create a path that runs from the gate to the patio (or “stoep” as we call them in South Africa). Now that Winter is fast approaching all that is left to do is plant my bulbs, mulch and wait for Spring.

Today I’m Digging in the Dirt

I love Spring! Suddenly I have all this energy and a to-do list a mile long. It’s going to be 70 degrees today at my house and I’m planning to spend the entire day outside cleaning up my flower beds. And, it was easy to create this little garden space inside that I can enjoy every single day…rain or shine!.

Around the House: Outside Tour

The love story of our house begins outside. It was derelict and abandoned, empty for almost two years while we sought to own it. It was a short-sale, fringing on foreclosure. But we loved it. We would visit our house, just hanging out on the porch, looking through the windows, dreaming of what we would do to it.  And finally in July 2011 it was ours. 

The house was built in 1947 and had acres of land. In the 1970’s it sold for $14,000 and included 14 acres. It now has 1.3 acres and most of the surrounding land has been developed. There is a neighborhood of mid-to -higher priced homes built 2005-2008 with a Northwest flavor and itty-bitty yards. 

We have done most, but not all of the work, on the house ourselves. We had many ‘opinionated discussions’ about the deck, especially the open vs. covered areas. It really did take a professional to sort this out and make this masterpiece happen. Sometimes you have to trust the pros, even though it may feel like you are giving up control.  

A professional contractor made this happen. And our bank account. Worth every penny. The decking is synthetic. There is built in lighting on the steps and under the railings. Yes, there’s a hot tub too. 

We do a lot of grilling, year round now. 

Outdoor living area with either rain-drum table in the center or a small fire pit when appropriate (we are both firefighters). 

Outdoor dining area.

These “Stairs to Nowhere” now have purpose with a cover and bench seating. Our guess is that the previous owner intended the garage to be converted into living space with this as a new entrance. 

The shop (where the husband does the wife’s projects). 

There’s a lot more to explore on the property plus projects in the works…it is truly our dream house and a work of love. 

Llegó la primavera // Spring is here

Ha llegado la primavera y se nota dentro y fuera de casa. Los colores de nuevas flores lo inundan todo, las temperaturas ascienden y flota una promesa en el aire de buen tiempo y diversión. 


Spring has arrived and it shows inside and outside the home. New flower colors flood everything , temperatures soar and float in the air promise a good time and fun.

Las florecitas blancas del Viburnum tinus nos dan la bienvenida al llegar a casa, está plantado junto a la puerta de entrada junto a una Clematis montana todavía joven y un rosal Pierre de Ronsard que no se aprecia en la imagen pero está :-)


The white flowers of Viburnum tinus welcome us to get home, is standing next to the door near a Clematis montana still young and a rose “ Pierre de Ronsard “ that you can’t see in the image but it is there :- )

Pequeños capullos rojos de una Nandina domestica, una de las plantas que crece en una maceta de la terraza desde hace muchos años y cada primavera se llena de diminutas flores blancas.


Small red buds of Nandina domestica, one of the plants growing in a pot on the terrace for many years thet every spring is filled with tiny white flowers.

El Ciclamen persicum de mi escritorio va dejando de florecer, es una planta de invierno y cuando llega el tiempo cálido entra en reposo hasta la próxima temporada. Lo guardaré en un lugar sombrío y fresco del jardín.


The Cyclamen persicum on my desk is leaving to blossom , is a plant of winter and when warm weather arrives, goes to sleep until next season. I‘ll keep it in a dark and cool place in the garden.

La flor de este Amaryllis dura pocas semanas, pero su color es tan brillante que adoro tenerlo estos días en el salón. 


This Amaryllis flower lasts a few weeks , but its color is so bright that I love to have these days in the living room.

Un Hyacinthus blanco, otro bulbo primaveral que está viviendo su mejor momento.


A white Hyacinthus, another spring bulb that is living its best.

En un jarrón de cristal, una rama de Aeonium decora la sala con la ventana del jardín como fondo. El Aeonium es una planta de exterior, pero me gusta tener alguna ramita dentro de casa.


In a crystal vase , a branch of Aeonium decorates the room with the garden window in the background. The Aeonium is an outdoor plant , but I like to have some twig indoors.

Y por último, en el jardín, esta Polygala es uno de los arbustos que ya comienzan a florecer. Espero tener pronto más flores que compartir con vosotros.


And finally, in the garden, this Polygala is one of the shrubs that are beginning to bloom. I hope that soon there will be more flowers to share with you.

Un jardín en España // Gardening in Spain

¡Hola! Estoy encantada de presentaros mi pequeño jardín en España, un espacio que cuido con cariño y dedicación. Hace ya más de 20 años que llegué a esta casa con mi marido, aquí han nacido mis hijos y hemos vivido un sin fin de momentos felices.

El jardín no es muy grande, pero cuidar las plantas y verlas florecer me produce muchísima satisfacción. Pronto será primavera y estaré feliz de compartir con vosotros mi pequeño rincón verde.


Hi! I am pleased to introduce my little garden in Spain, a place I care with love and dedication. It’s more tan 20 years ago when my husband and me arrived at this house, my children were born here and we have lived endless happy moments. 

The garden is small but caring for plants and watch them flourish gives me a lot of satisfaction. Soon it will be spring and I‘ll be happy to share with you my little green corner.

How does my garden grow?

Tha Hizzle's garden

New house. New garden. And as you can see it needs some work to really get it blooming. Pun intended. I have big plans for this little space – first up is to remove the odd paving against the wall and turn it into a bigger flower bed. I see bougainvillea, daisies and geraniums and colour. At the moment it is just a lot of green and brown and that will not do.