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Netting Curtains

Part 3 ~ So Cal Garden Tour:

My friend Diane used to have the most romantic cottage garden I had ever seen.  The front garden was surrounded by a storybook white picket fence with a gated arbor covered in climbing roses.  The fragrance from lavender, roses and geraniums seemed to be perennial.  There were pathways weaving through clematis, lobelia, hydrangeas and all plants romantic.  I once got to help deadhead the garden, which was heaven to me.


Several years ago, realizing that the picket fence was in need of serious rehab and that the garden was not exactly native and drought friendly, she tore everything out and started anew.  The only plant she kept in the front yard, from the romantic garden, was the gorgeous, gigantic hydrangea bush.


Di lives in the inner city (she aptly calls it “the hood”) where there is a constant bombardment of action and noise.  After she bought her home, over half of the sweet old craftsman houses were leveled and replaced with unattractive apartment buildings, forever changing the peaceful, calm nature of her hood.

1920s Craftsman Bungalow

Di’s 1920s Craftsman Bungalow

In spite of all that is peace stealing in the neighborhood, Diane and her nextdoor neighbor, Mary, have made their gardens places of refuge.

Drought tolerant magenta flowers

Droughtscaping in the parkway.

Drought tolerant Desert Mallow

This flower was the color sample for the front porch’s adirondack chairs and tables.

Romantic hydrangeas

A beautiful, healthy hydrangea shrub is the one remaining original plant from the previously romantic cottage garden.

Although Diane spends time in the front garden to maintain it, the back garden is her refuge.  The kitchen and master bedroom have double french doors that open up to an upper veranda, which is used for outdoor meals and it is also where my furry girlfriend Sassy likes to hang out.


Di’s Hydrangea Bush in Full Bloom

Precious Watchdog

Sassy, one of my alltime favorite girlfriends (no joke).  Her cozy hangout can be seen in the background.

potted succulents

Custom made pot holders (created by Diane’s husband John) hang a tidy row of potted succulents over the edge of the veranda railing.

Backyard clawfoot tub

A clawfoot tub and a partial view of the potting shed, shingled garden house and the dining pavilion.

When I go to Diane’s, we hang out on two opposing gliding sofas and eat by the glow of twinkling string lights that are hung from the pergola in a v configuration overhead.  We stay out until bedtime and if it gets nippy outside, Diane grabs two matching furry blankets, one for each of us.


We slowly morph from sitting upright to lying on our backs or curled up in the fetal position, with our heads rested on pillows.  Sassy, a non cuddler, even gets in on the action and will snuggle up with one of us!

outdoor dinner

A typical girlfriend get together meal on the lower patio’s coffee table.

The pavilion in the very back of the yard has a custom made plywood table that can probably seat over 30 people comfortably!

Potted succlents

A pot of healthy succulents accessorizes one of the outdoor side tables.

Raised planters

The view from my gliding sofa at dinner, raised planters for herbs and veggies were planted the week after I visited.

Net curtains

Outdoor net curtains tied back during a windstorm.

The lower patio is framed by ethereal net curtains.  Diane likes to leave them down, so they can waft in the breeze, but they were tied back because of a windstorm.

Lilies in window box

My eye couldn’t look away from these lilies!

Lilies in window box

Is it just me, or are they amazing?

Lilies in window box

Hello!  If you didn’t have a happy heart before you saw this, I hope your heart is happy now!

shingled garden house

Diane’s creative husband built this shingled garden house with recycled windows and doors.

Red Dahlia

A cheerful red Dahlia embracing the sun.

Potting Shed and weathervane

The Potting Shed and its Weathervane

Potting Shed

The potting shed, neatly organized.

Purple flower on vine

A pretty flowering vine.

Orange Clivia

Shade loving Clivia thrives in Southern California.

A Drought Friendly Refuge in the Hood!


If you missed parts 1 and 2 of the Droughtscape Garden Tour, you can view them through the links below!

Part 1: Garden Tour ~ So Cal Droughtscape ~ The Quirk Factor

Part 2: Garden Tour ~ So Cal Droughtscape ~ It’s All in the Details

9 thoughts on “Garden Tour ~ So Cal Droughtscape ~Refuge in the Hood

  1. Nancy P says:

    I am moving into Diane’s backyand immediately. So beautiful and welcoming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janea says:

      Move over, Nancy! I think I’ll join you. 🙂 What a beautiful response to the drought!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nancy P says:

        The more the merrier!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Janea says:

    I know I just commented 😉 but something else just came to me…
    “It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.”
    – Donna Karan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane says:

    Wow Mel, I never knew my house and garden could look so FAB!! What a heart warming and touching blog post….Thank you Girlfriend!

    Next time you come to visit bring Nancy and Janea for a “Girls Weekend”…We can bring our own delightful, fun filled music to my hood. The more the merrier!

    And yes, Janea, my back yard is all about the calm and peace in the midst of a crazy chaotic “hood”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy P says:

      Thanks Diane! I’m packing my bags! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Now that would be a fun time! Girls get togethers are fun at Di’s house! There is plenty of ambience, food, drink, great conversation and laughter.

      Di, your house and yard are much more charming than the pics. You were on a European river cruise for nearly the entire month before those photos were taken. The pics above are of what your yard looks like when it’s not in good shape!


  4. Diane says:

    That is true Melissa but your photography somehow deleted all the mess….I don’t know how you do that but it was fantastic. Must be that wonderful eye and great new camera you have!!! 💕💜


    1. Not true! And my camera is a few years old now! Some ole camera. 😘


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