Monday, September 3, 2012

From Rocky to Restful ~ My Sister's Oasis

It didn’t start out this way, and it’s a long story, why this flowerbed in my twin sister’s backyard consisted of a pile of rocks (with assorted weeds) for some time, but I won’t write the back-story here (you can read more about it at Gayle's place today). Suffice it to say that she hated it day and night, and that’s where I come in.

For a reasonable price, I told her that I would be glad to tackle her bed of rocks and create something that would make her smile instead of grimace whenever she came home from work, or glanced out the kitchen windows. She would need to buy the plants and such, but I would go pick everything up and haul it back to her place and get 'er done. 

(I can be crazy optimistic like that.)

I’m no magician, and my gardening skills are stuck somewhere in the flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants stage, but, nonetheless, I do enjoy working the ground, planting, watering, mulching—seeing something of beauty where ugly once reigned. Quite frankly, I considered my offer the deal of a lifetime, and it didn’t take sis but a few days to give me the nod. If I promised to be careful and not hurt my silly self, then OK. Go for it.


The first order of business was to hire someone to haul off those dreaded rocks. In all my born days, I declare I’ve never seen so many rocks in one place. They appeared unending, but, finally … they were gone. Oh happy day!
After creating some edging along the back side of the bed, I turned the soil, adding in some top-soil along the way.

The photos get prettier.

Pinkie promise.

Here in our neck of the woods, a local garden center has amazing late-summer sales (everything is 70% off), so what fun it would be, getting insane prices for stuff.

My goal was to buy plants that a) require little maintenance, b) were heat-tolerant, and c) could thrive in most any kind of soil.
At the nursery, Gayle chose some lovely, but resilient, white Angelface.
I picked out a few ever faithful and easy-to-care for Liriope (the "giant" ones). We also purchased a few smaller ornamental grasses, for the narrow area in the back.
For the taller plants, I decided to try something new—three gorgeous Jatropha Integerrima bushes. They came highly recommended and I'm excited to see if they prove themselves. Gardening is mostly about trial and error anyway, and with 70% off, the risks were tolerable.
Once the shopping mission was done, it was time to set the beauties in place. 
With the plants watered in and settling into their new home, I adorned a shepherd’s hook with a pretty lantern and added an outdoor candle for a touch of romance.
Then it was time to mulch, add a few finishing touches and clean up. The result is an area that can be changed out easily, personalized, and enjoyed, I hope, for many years to come.
Sometimes, all you need for a bit of calm from the chaos of the daily grind is a small outdoor space in which to create a touch of magic.
It doesn’t have to be grand, or even expensive, to be a place that refreshes your spirit and leaves you with a certain sense of calm—an oasis to call your own.


Linking up with the Cowgirl Up and Make it Pretty party girls.



  1. Thank you, dear wombmate, for making my world a more restful place. I love it already!

  2. How lovely! What a wonderful improvement.

  3. Beautiful. Your sister is blessed with a sister like you. ;-)

  4. Great job! Love the plants and the red mulch for color.

  5. Sisterly love is what I see. What you see as something simple to do, is something so helpful. A little peace for your sister is huge.

  6. What a terrific job you did! It certainly looks better! You must have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of doing it.

  7. Dayle- What a great job. A sister's love can work wonders, can't it? Beautiful!!!! xo Diana

  8. See? I told you you needed to come landscape my yard! It's gorgeous. What a great way to bless your sister.

  9. Wonderful job! A work of love and I can tell you enjoyed the process (after the rocks were removed, of course) :) I know it will be a joy each time it is seem and will grow prettier and prettier with each passing season.

  10. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Dayle.Great job!

  11. Oh I love it! My younger sister has the love of gardening and creating such places as well. How I would love for her to come and work her magic at my place! How blessed your sister is.

  12. Dayle and Gayle: positively What a lovely transformation. Congratulations! A win-win-win!

  13. Ohhhhhhh.... what a difference some love and greenery makes to the space! Very inspiring!
    dee dee

  14. So pretty! Lovely transformation. Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


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