dirt under my nails

that’s my excuse for not blogging the past few days. i’ve had dirt under my nails.

let me give you a little more explanation. walk with me, will you?

let’s go out the back door. remember the guest house? look up.

yep, there it is. almost done, just a few finishing details left to do on the inside, then i’ll give you a tour.

so just to the right of the guest house are the stairs that lead to the grassy area of the yard.

don’t comment on the unfinished walls. its one of my “summer goals” to stucco it.

walk up the stairs with me. now stop! look left.

this is a newly planted bed. and can you see how great the little path up to the guest house turned out?! all those stepping stones were reused from the house’s original hardscaping.

now look right.

another area filled. the trees have been here for a couple years (ornamental evergreen pears), and usually we have cala lillies planted beneath, but they die off in the warmer months because they get too much sun exposure.

now look further to your right. past the grass.

this is our new little vegetable garden. it used to be a smaller box that became neglected, so this year we decided to give it a bit more attention. we’ve been raising little veggie seedlings that have grown into tiny toddlers, just planted in the new bed. we added a couple little stone paths to the things my kids love the most: sweet 100 tomatoes, strawberries, and sugar snap peas. as this area grows and we finish planting it, i’ll show you an update. looks a little pathetic now. and the stone retaining border along the grass? repurposed.

now look straight ahead.

this little teepee (an idea we stole from friends) will soon be covered with these vines and flowers (if silas will stop attacking them).

go ahead and walk over to the teepee, and turn around. look to your right.

now look down a little lower.

another new planting bed! filled with my favorites: hydrangeas! 3 of them are new, but the other 4 i’ve had from 1-3 years in another spot.

also under there are those calla lillies i mentioned, and some ferns for filler.

oh, you see the stairs? let’shead on up!

these cute little window boxes add just the right touch in front of the loft (or is it the guesthouse?).

now turn around at the top of the stairs.

don’t slip, the stairs are wet! we just hosed them off to get some of the mud off we’ve been tracking everywhere.

there’s an overall view of the top tier of the backyard. lots to do in the top part of the pic, as you can see. someday, i’d like to see a spa at the top of those stairs where the delapidated shoul-have-caution-tape-around-it gazebo is. gracie thinks we should look for a spa at a garage sale. hmmm…

so there’s my excuse. now for giving credit where credit is due:
i’d like to thank my parents for making this all possible, for picking out the plants and letting me be opinionated, and doing pretty much all the work. for having more energy than i do when you’re twice my age. for doing all the sprinklers and drip lines. for fertilizing the lawn, for setting up the timers, for tilling the rack hard, clay-ridden soil and for so much more.
next i’d like to thank my husband, for giving up his last free weekend for a couple months to garden with me. for completely rebuilding our veggie garden. for putting sunscreen on the kids and i when i know how much you hate to have it on your hands ;). for taking the kids for the day yesterday so i could help a bit i the yard and get a couple hours of sewing in. you rock!
and last, i’d like to thank my kids. i’d like to thank you in advance for not trampling on the newly planted beds, for joyfully weeding all these areas, for tending to our garden, and for NOT PICKING THE HYDRANGEAS!!! love you!



  1. 1
    The Smith Family says:

    Ooo, I LOVE this guest house! You did a stellar job!
    Such great taste. Nice, clean, and totally inviting!

  2. 2
    Jeannett Gibson says:

    Love it! Great job…! I have this love/hate thing with gardening…I lvoe the finished product, and I love to get dirt under my nails…in theory. Until I realize that digging a hole in the ground is never as easy as it is to dig a hole in the sand at the beach. And then I hate gardening. Because it is tiring and hard. And by the third hold you want to throw your shovel against the wall and have a glass of lemonade. That’s about when I call Andy and beg him to finish for me because…”I’m little!” Usually does the trick. Shameless. But true.

  3. 3

    Beautiful place. You did a great job with the placement of everything. Looks very beautiful, clean and fresh!

  4. 4

    Wow! Your backyard/guesthouse look awesome!!! Congrats!! All that hard work is totally paying off. I can’t wait to see all those beautiful hydrangea bushes in bloom (I pretty much killed my hydrangea bushes last winter – they are spending this Spring recuperating). :o)

  5. 5

    Gorgeous! I love the guest house, I want to come live there! Excellent gardening too! LURVE IT!

  6. 6

    You have been busy!! Payed off …looks great!

  7. 7

    Love this post! Thank you for the tour. :) Your yard is beautiful and the guest house is so inviting. When will the Pleated Poppy be taking reservations?

    Way to go!!!!!!!

  8. 8

    WOW, your yard is so beautiful! You are really going to enjoy the vegetable garden this summer. We are lucky to live in San Diego where we can grow all year round. The finishing touch would be a hot tub, you should look on craigslist for great deals.

  9. 9

    does craigs list have free money, too?

  10. 10

    I love it, so beautiful and peacfull. Anyone who visits will be lucky to stay in that gorgeous guest home!

  11. 11
    AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage says:

    I’m in awe…it looks amazing! I’ve been dying to spruce up my yard, and you’ve just given me some great inspiration.

  12. 12

    so pretty. time to come for a visit?

  13. 13

    Looks beautiful…planning on doing the same to our yard this weekend…(if the rain will just hold off!)

  14. 14

    denise – yes, please!

  15. 15
    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com says:

    You’ve been a busy girl!
    It looks fantastic, and I am just the teensiest bit green with envy.


  16. 16
    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com says:

    You’ve been a busy girl!
    It looks fantastic, and I am just the teensiest bit green with envy.


  17. 17
    Lisa Leonard says:

    it looks amazing! xo

  18. 18

    Gorgeous!!!!! Thanks for the tour. It was so fun bumping into you yesterday. Must do it again sometime, with even more catching up. :)

    How is your sewing machine search?

  19. 19
    Cathi Hamen says:

    WOW congrats!! no more giving up your room for our sweet family and friends!! Yeah for GREAT parents!!

  20. 20
    Rachel@oneprettything.com says:

    “…not picking the hydrangeas!” lol, love that! I just came by to check out the fabulous twin girl baby shower. It’s fantastic! I’d love to link to it if you didn’t mind. Off to explore the rest of your blog…

  21. 21

    Wow Linds – it look amazing! You and your parents have done a great job! I can't wait to stay in the "guest house" :) love & miss ya!!!

  22. 22

    WOW!!! Fantabulous!!!! May i be your first GUEST!! LOL! I commend you for your har efforts thus far, you will are doing a great job!! I cannot wait to see the inside!!! :)

  23. 23

    LOvely! What abgreat project! Now I understand why you have dirt under your nails! lol…

  24. 24
    sarah marie says:

    Hey, no fair to have such a perfect yard when the title of your blog is “imperfect!” :) I love your work… it is really inspiring! My husband and I just bought our first house and I’m dreaming lots about landscaping and gardening in the backyard. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

  25. 25
    krystina says:

    Ok Lindsey, I want to know how much coffee do you drink? SERIOUSLY? Where do you get all this energy plus 3 kids and you go to bed so late??? Excuse me, yes, I’ll have what she’s having please?!!

  26. 26
    lindsey says:

    krystina –
    HA! that is funny! actually, i don’t drink coffee, and not even very much soda, although i sure do think about it a lot! remember, my parents did most of the yardwork. i just supervised and pitched in when i wasn’t holding, feeding, or schooling children.
    but i don’t know where the energy comes from either. i definitely hit a mid-day lull, where i can hardly keep my eyes open. but once the kids are in bed, a full on second wind hits!

  27. 27
    SoBella Creations says:

    I ♥ hydrangeas! In my old house I had two bushes. Loved having a vase sitting on my table full of them.

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