The Garden

25 Sep

Oh the garden. What a garden it is.

This is by far our most challenging aspect of the house remodel. Not being remotely green fingered we are at a  bit of a loss as to what to do and will certainly need help in this dept. The garden is simply enormous , close to half an acre, and it has great bones. The old man who lived here before was very proud of his garden, he apparently spent a lot of time caring for it – there’s rose bushes, fruit trees and amazing retaining walls that he hand built. He installed irrigation and drainage- all that heavy stuff so we wont have to do that which is a blessing.  But it now needs further attention after a few years of nothing and we want it to be kid friendly.

So far we focused on removing all the trash out of the garden so that it was a safe place for Jack to run around – did I mention the 3 dumpsters worth of trash??! But now that its safe(r!)  and we have time on our hands whilst we wait for permission to start building we are thinking about what we could and would want to do.

There’s 3 levels to think of , the house level – which has a front garden, a side rose garden (see below) and a patio that is all uneven and cracked.

Then there’s the pool level and  what we’ve deemed will be the outdoor eating area..

This is all on one level so the plan will be to re-tile the pool and whatever stone we use around the pool will flow into this eating area. Plus we might extend this out a little as it feels a bit narrow currently. We think the old man had a greenhouse here at one point as there seems to be some kind of foundation posts and there was a LOT of glass  in this area!!!

The final level, up at the top of the plot,  is the biggest challenge for us, but also has the most opportunity. This level is mostly flat and is about 7,000 sq ft in its own right! There’s about 10 fruit trees up on this level and 2 vines growing grapes. We have to rotate the earth and put down some new soil as its super dry from the Californian summer.

Up here there’s a corner plot that will become Jack’s play area with a structure built by Jon, we need to plant more trees for privacy and wood chip the area so its a soft landing. Then in the other corner Jon is going to have a chipping green and bunker built!!!  The rest will be lawned over, the alive fruit trees will stay and we will build a mini railing to stop anyone falling off the terrace and into the bushes below.  The views from this level are amazing – you can see Angel Island, the city and the bay, so making the most of this area is one of our priorities for the garden. Its sunny all day up here and is the only  place for us to have a big green lawn – truly British style!

We have a landscape gardener , the awesome and super talented Pablo, who’s going to come and help us turn this massive garden into something functional and fun for the whole family, but I imagine its going to take quite a long time and the house will have to take priority !!

By next summer tho we hope to be the venue of choice for  pool parties in the neighborhood 🙂

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