day 30 & flowers

Today is day 30 of me simply stopping shopping. I thought I'd sprinkle random thoughts about that with pictures of my front garden that I took this morning.

I'm really proud of the way this border is behaving.

These white roses mix well with the lambs ear.

I really like this horse trough planted with flowers in front of the RRL store in Malibu.

I went there yesterday to visit #2 son and have a look around. There are 3 RL stores in a row. This is his store. Inside it is exquisite, they all are. Ralph has always been a favorite of mine. He has always influenced my design/style choices. These are the only 2 photos I took, I wish I had taken more. I met his boss, Melissa and she was beautiful and so lovely as were all his co-workers. I think you have to look like a model to work there. I left without making a purchase. An amazing accomplishment.

Do you know that I can't stand that my house is red?

A heavenly bamboo branch in a clear cylinder looking very zen.

So as this first month concludes I am finding myself more relaxed. Maybe it's because I'm not zipping around town with a to-do list these days, I'm not sure yet. It seems like the days are slower and longer too. I don't know if it's just the time of year or if it is related to not shopping, time will tell. I have not seen the inside of Target in 30 days and that in itself is some kind of record.


  1. Dear Janet,
    You are doing really well! Going to RL must have been quite tempting. I have always loved his style too, and his products use the best, most high quality fabrics. It is an interesting note that as more time passes, you become more at peace with your decision to stop shopping. Shopping can be an addiction like any other. Already you are seeing rewards in longer, more productive days and a less cluttered mind. I am VERY proud of you, my friend! So far, I am doing well also. I think of things I'd like to get, eventually, someday, but I don't obsess over them anymore. There is less pressure from within, and I look at what I already have in a different light-- with more appreciation. Have you heard of a program called "Voluntary Simplicity?" Several years ago our UU fellowship had it. I wasn't ready for it at the time, but I think the people in the group did what we are doing now. I can find out more if you are interested.

    Your front borders are gorgeous! Their sinuous curves really appeal to me. The color and texture combinations are superb--white with fuzzy grey, deep purple sprinkled in for excitement. And your cottage is just darling (even with the red stain)! The picture of your dining room made me want to see more of it. That was definitely a teaser!

    Thanks for your most kind comments. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say, and it really makes me feel good, like I am being heard and understood. That is what every writer hopes for. Have a lovely day.

  2. Good for you going 30 days. I am doing 30 days of no TV and am on my 26th day. Yes my days are longer too but I am getting a lot more done. BTW, I love your Red House.:)

  3. Janet- Congratulations on day 30...your garden looks beautiful.
    You dislike the red colour of your it the traditional heritage colour?
    What would you like it to be?
    There is a great book out on house colours for heritage bungalows by Robert Schweitser if you need some ideas or inspiration. Your local library might have a copy...our home used to be brown with terra cotta and cream it's green with black and cream. I like it much better.
    Your garden is a riot of colour and textures and the artist in you shows well! Happy gardening!

  4. your flowers are beautiful. What color would you paint your home if you got rid of the red? It is adorable, but I am not a red person at all.
    have a great day!

  5. way to go on hitting 30 days! that is very inspiring. have you been to the RRL store on Melrose? I love how they transformed an old garage. Your sons store looks just as cool.

    ps. i love your house red!

  6. I like your house red, but that is my favorite color. The not buying for all this time is difficult, Target is where I can drop a few hundred dollars easily. I am not a shopper ( at regular malls ) for anything much but antique artwork and plants are where I can overspend. Staying away from the stores that tempt you, as well as not looking at catalogs, ads, etc. will help . Your yard is beautiful ! Thanks for the post, Gina

  7. Your gardens are beautiful, Janet! Your hard work has really paid off. This cool spring weather we've been having - it's raining today! - has really helped mine but it could still use some more help from me. "This weekend" I keep saying but then I get slammed with something else instead. Grr.
    I can understand why you would want your house to be something other that red, but it's just so cute! Happy Tuesday to you!

  8. Your garden is so beautiful! I like the house red, but I can totally understand your desire for a new color. What color are you thinking of?


  9. Janet, Your husband was right about dividing the flowers. The place looks great! And yes I was surprised to see the red, although color is a personnal choice YOUR followers would love to know how it got there. Shopping is weird. I have to do for work so I'm not a big fan of the whole process. I am impressed by your commitment, kept up the good work.

  10. Are you KIDDING about the red color??? I yearn for a red house and think yours is perfect. If you don't like it can I have it?

  11. really like your white roses!! so calm................relax.......hugs from me.........

  12. Your garden is beautiful. What a difference it makes when you have mature plants.

    I think your house is adorable, but I also know what it's like to not like the color of your exterior. I just had my shutters, door, and trim painted this past weekend - ahhhhh!

    Great job on the stopping shopping. I'm impressed!


  13. Janet, All of this is what I mean ...

    It's all beautiful ~ I would surround myself in it all day.

    I couldn't imagine your house any other color than the red ~ it's like a fairy tale cottage.

    Keep up the good work! :)

  14. Janet,
    Your garden looks great! I'm so impressed by your roses. I think your house is kind of cute red...and I'm not a red person. Maybe it's little too bright? Have you ever considered putting something to the left of the porch to balance the window on the right-hand side? Steve

  15. A few random thoughts . . .

    First, thanks for sharing your thoughts about not shopping. (But I think that you should allow yourself to go to Target to buy necessities like toothpaste, food wrap, etc. Unless that would be too big of a temptation to buy non-necessities.)

    Second, your garden looks wonderful! I especially like the meandering borders with multi-colored flowers. (The Engish garden look.)

    Third, the RRL store looks great. The blue paint color is perfect.

    Fourth, regarding your red house. I share the thoughts expressed by "An Urban Cottage." I know that you are not a red person, and as cute as the red is, it does kind of overpower the flowers. (But I think that I remember you saying that your cottage has been red for years, and that many neighbors like it that way.)

    "hostess of the humble bungalow" mentioned a book about house colors for heritage bungalows by Robert Schweitzer. He happens to live in the town next to ours (or at least he did at one time). He's also chosen paint colors for a few houses in our area. The color palettes are striking and I'm sure that they are historically correct.
    But I'm not sure that most of those color pallettes would work well with the colors in your garden.

    I know that your favorite colors are black and white and that you have used those colors with great success inside your home. (If I remember correctly, in one of your earlier posts, you mentioned that those are the colors you would like to paint your cottage.) I say go for it. (Both because you love the colors and because they would work so well with the colors in your garden.)

    (I could discuss house colors forever, but am forcing myself to stop now.)

  16. "An Urban Cottage" also mentioned the possibility of putting something to the left of the porch to balance the window on the right-hand side. A trellis covered with climbing roses would be one possibility.

    And while we're at it, I would love to see a trim board above the porch windows.

    But those are all minor details. Your house (inside and out) and your garden are all fantastick, awe-inspiring even!

  17. Janet, I think you are doing so well. Being a self professed ex shopper, I know how a=hard the first month is...I have a horse trough metal container just like that somewhere, I should put it on the blog for you!!!
    Have a great day...

  18. Your borders look fantastic, I'm about to go back and study them more intently. I'm a lover of red, to me your house is totally charming. Congrats on the 30 days no shopping. I'm not there yet, but I am rewarding myself less with more stuff. The good feeling only lasts till you get it home or wear it once anyway.

  19. 30 days and no shopping or Target...that is good stuff! Is it getting easier or harder for you?
    Your gardens are so so pretty!! I would love to stroll around with you telling me all the names of everything. How did you get the roses to go up the fence? Beautiful.

  20. Hi Janet, how's tricks?

    Your garden looks so lovely. Jealous of all your sun. Nice work with all the colour and texture. I love lambs ears, and I love grey foliage in general.

    Good for you re day 30. I am trying not to shop too. I was looking at McQueen on the outnet this morning but then I thought just STOP it! Plus all my sizes were sold out. My visa card is finally paid off too so I want to keep it that way. Self Gifting for no reason at all is the Devil's work.

    Meanwhile, would you paint the outside of your place a neutral colour like a sort of taupe or grey or white with black trim?? Everyone is doing this in Australia these days. The red is so cute but if you're not happy...Nice shots of the RL shops too.

    Well done J and I hope you are well and happy x

  21. Good for you! I don't shop much. I don't even like grocery shopping. Today I visited the new Sprouts store in TO and came out with only one item--almond flavoring which has been on my grocery list for more than a week.

  22. Janet your garden is so beautiful. It is exactly the dream I have for our gardens here. What a wonderful feeling it must be to have your house surrounded by so much natural beauty.

  23. Janet, you are doing so well and so excited to hear that you are feeling more relaxed. Your garden is stunning - the borders are unvelievably lovely. My garden looks nothing like that - things don't get that lush here (at least not with my skills). I love how it looks so planned yet so wild. Does that make sense?

    I owe you an email - sorry - so busy these nights and we are going on holiday but basically I think you are reading my mind, so you probably know what I will write back. : )

    Love the photos. Yes, all those RL people are too beautiful. I would like to look like that for one day. I would do some damage. : )

    xox Terri

  24. P.S. Why do you hate your red house? Personally I hate red but only because I look awful in it. I like it on other people and some people are just born for red. Not us pale blue-eyed types. xo T.

  25. Janet, you are doing so well and so excited to hear that you are feeling more relaxed. Your garden is stunning - the borders are unvelievably lovely. My garden looks nothing like that - things don't get that lush here (at least not with my skills). I love how it looks so planned yet so wild. Does that make sense?

    I owe you an email - sorry - so busy these nights and we are going on holiday but basically I think you are reading my mind, so you probably know what I will write back. : )

    Love the photos. Yes, all those RL people are too beautiful. I would like to look like that for one day. I would do some damage. : )

    xox Terri

  26. Oh your garden is just beautiful Janet... I love it - so many lovely flowers out too...
    So... wonder why you don't like the red of your house? Can you change it or is it "listed" as we have in UK so you are unable to do so..? can see you with something more neutral really.... but its a lovely barn red. Adore the RL shops and so pleased that son #2 is happy there - if I were him I know that I would spend all my money that I earnt! You did very well Janet! x

  27. Your garden is lovely Janet!
    And Yes, I did know you hated the red ;)! Until "others" pay the morgage/taxes then they have NO say in the matter.
    Be true to yourself... life is short.
    Paint it White!

  28. Janet - I'm running out of adjectives to describe your glorious garden! You are so fortunate to have such an amazing outdoor space. I think your red house fits right in with the landscape. It's all so charming.

  29. I love your red house, but I love red. And your garden is sooo very beautiful. Lamb's ear - oh so sweet.

    You are an inspiration with your no shopping diet.

    Have a great week.

  30. hello everyone,

    thank you so much for the compliments and your opinions on the color of my house.

    here's the deal, the house was red when we got here and has been red for almost 50 years. it's somewhat of a landmark around here. painting it is going to cause an uproar.

    one day i hope it will be white with some black accents. over the three windows in the front i would have a arbor structure that would have red roses climbing it. it would also provide some shade to the porch in the mornings.

    in the meantime, i will do my best and join the red lovers and appreciate what i've got!


  31. Your garden is gorgeous Janet! Simple but quite elegant...I especially adore the urn full of geraniums!

  32. what a fabulous feat ... no shopping for 30 days! Your garden is so lovely... I am going to go look at it again. I have 2 college age daughters... so I do more shopping than I like... I am with you in spirit.... bc I so "get it".

  33. Hi Janet!

    I can't tell you how inspiring your blog has been lately! I adore your garden - you should plop two white Adirondack chairs on your lawn, kick off those white converse of yours, and hang out with your hubby in that gorgeous sunlight surrounded by that amazing garden that you two have created!! : )
    As for your house color - you know I'm a little partial to white with black shutters! : ) (Maybe do red Adirondack chairs then, as a nod to the original color) You could even add some flower boxed under your windows for color!

    Loving it all!! And way to go on day 30!!! I'm not ready to quit entirely but you've definitely inspired me to cut WAAAAYYYYY back!

    xoxox, Melissa

  34. whoops!! that was supposed to say "flower boxes" no "boxed"


  35. Hi Janet!! Congratulations, your garden is beautiful. I love it. Fantastic!! Kisses, Ana

  36. Dear Janet, what a stunning garden, such a beautiul array of plants, you have the most wonderful green fingers. And well done on your not shopping, very inspiring, I did it last year and did feel much calmer and more content, but then I slipped back into my bad old ways, I am guilty of self gifting as Faux Fuchsia calls it and also of its evil twin, Shoppers Treat - when there is something you really do need to buy, like small boy vests, but you throw in something for yourself to spice up the trip....Take care Blightyx

  37. hi janet! how's the nice weather treating you? isn't it lovely? your garden is just so adorable. thanks for dropping by. the cottages you posted awhile back, do you have the month you posted it? i would love to revisit that post. you have a great day! verbena cottage

  38. My dear Jaenette, sorry for not coming before, I was very bussy creating a new blog. Now, I can see that you are very clever at your promises and you have gone through the day 30 without buying anything superflous, that is soooooo good. I would never ever change the red color of you home, it is just lovely!!!!! and beautiful!!!! but I understand that changes are quite welcome!!!
    Your garden is looking much prettier everyday of spring time and your work in it is giving its fruits!!!!
    Cariños my friend,
    Maria Cecilia

  39. hi janet, just dropping by to wish you a fun memorial day weekend! verbena cottage

  40. I love your house!
    My house is white and when we get the cash together we plan to paint it red... go figure!
    You should definitely go w/a color that "speaks" to you... regardless of the potentional neighborhood uproar! I imagine that our neighbors will have something to say when we 'go red' ... BUT everyone should march to their own drummer!

  41. Dear Janet, Your garden looks magnificent, although the red sort of steals the show. Wait until you see the garden in front of the future white house! Wow!


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