front garden before and afters & an excuse

hello everyone.
before i get started on the garden post i'd like to take a moment.
my blog and i apologize for being so lazy lately.
i think it is the beautiful summer days luring me away from the computer.
or maybe i'm a bit burnt out.
i'm not sure exactly what is going on inside my brain.
all i know is that i can hardly stand the sound of my own voice.
so i think i need to be quiet for a while.
i'm sorry if i've been letting you down.
i hope you all understand and i really hope to be back on it soon.
in the meantime...

  i thought i'd put together a post on how this front garden has progressed in the 4 years since we've been here.

that first picture is one i took about a month after moving in here.
at this point all we had done was mow, edge, weed and water.
note the lack of flora and fauna.

this was taken in early spring of 2009.
i was enlarging the beds and planting flora.

this is summer of 2009.
things are starting to fill in.
i remember how proud i was at this moment.

this is when i decided to start blogging.
july 2009

early summer 2011
we added the fence which blocks the neighbors driveway and gave us more privacy.

the day we moved in.

early this summer

shortly after moving in

july 2011


the front porch still closed off

and now open.

so that's about it.
i'd love to hear from you if you are also in a blog slump.
whether you are a reader of blogs or a writer of them.
do share.

wishing you a peaceful weekend.



  1. So lovely to see all the work you´ve done in your garden, it looks so pretty now!!!
    and yes, I´ve been blogging few.
    sending you lots of hugs

  2. I noticed your SOIL. OMG.

    I'm over a 1000 blog posts. Still feel driven to pass along the blessing of my garden muse. Never know what I will 'write'. Always have new garden pics, they lead the writing. Crazy thing, the blog is bring me work. Had zero expectation of that.

    This doesn't include major life events the past year. Divorce, death, dating, decorating, designing/contracting landscapes & home renovations.

    Appreciate all the 'meat' in your blog. Helpful to me in my life.

    Finally contacted an art instructor about watercolor classes. Want to do renderings of my designs. Zero talent, out of the comfort zone and determined to learn a new skill. Nothing's too good for my garden muse !!!

    Also determined to get to the Puppetry Arts Center for 1 performance this year. And Merle Haggard is coming to town.......

    Always so much I want to do....including your closet/clothes reduction ideas, try some of your recipes.

    You inspire me. Thank you for all you do.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. I hear you Janet, I feel a blog slump coming. Maybe because I focus on stuff to wear and I'm sick of shopping and editing my closet. I plan to post less this summer and see where it goes.
    Your garden really looks great and you did it all yourself. My garden looks pretty good right now but Christopher designed and planted it so I can't get any credit, well I guess for watering!
    I hope you have a good weekend.

    1. Me too, I don't really have any direction as i don't have a passion for passion or beauty or interiors, yet I want to keep writing for the camaraderie of the whole thing.

    2. DaniBP and Tabitha keep going because I like your blogs. That is all x

  4. Janet, I remember when that picture of the bunny in the garden was your header picture! Your blog certainly has changed since then. It was a house blog then and is now a fashion blog. Anyway, I too am kind of in a blogging rut. It's not bothering me though. I'll get over it when I get over it :)

    Take care!

  5. Your garden is stunning Janet, I'm trying to plant up a white garden - we'll see...

  6. Your garden is amazing. I, too am in a slump. I feel like I don't have anything worth saying. Thinking of you lots though.

  7. Hi Janet - Your garden is beautiful and it was interesting to see how different it looks now versus a few years ago. I know what you mean about a blog slump. I've had a few myself and have found that sometimes just letting go for awhile and taking a break recharges the blogging batteries. Sometimes I need to let the inspiration find me instead of constantly hunting for things to post about. Have a great weekend,

  8. Your garden is so beautiful. You put a lot of work into it. I've been blogging since 2009 too and post almost everyday. Periodically find myself in the same state as you. When that happens, I take a break. Usually I'll announce a brief blog break (thinking three weeks or so). It really helps. I think it takes the pressure off. I find that I usually don't last two weeks and I suddenly have a bunch of things to talk about. Funny how that works!

  9. I am sorry to hear that you are in a slump. For what it's worth, I for one never tire of photos of your beautiful home and gardens. You continue to serve as an inspiration to me in my efforts toward simplifying and decluttering my life and home. Enjoy the fashion and food posts as well and have used several of the recipes you have posted.

  10. Janet, You have certainly done a lot to your place...and it shows. I love seeing photos of the before and after. Some times I try to think of things that would interest others and feel like I am in a slump...but I try to keep plugging along....for fear blogger will slam a door somewhere and I won't be able to post.LOL Enjoy your weekend,Smiles, Susie

  11. we all go thru slumps so by all means take a break janet.
    your garden is amazing. you have done wonders with it. i am in awe of you!

    you have been inspiring me for 2 years now. i am a VERY devoted fan. thanx to you i am
    a more serous vegan and i let my hair go gray and i re-organized my pantry ! plus i have
    gotten innumerable style and fashion tips and you validated my own thrift store shopping!
    thank you and yes please take a break so you can come back refreshed. i will miss you but i understand!

    Melanie Joy gave a lecture at Dr Mc Dougall's Feb seminar & she makes the intellectual case for us to act human.
    It's a long one and I had to watch in segments but it's worthwhile. 19,000 animals are
    slaughtered every minute in the USA. to readers of janet's blog: Please try to watch at least the first 23 minutes.

    1. Shell,

      Thank you so much for the heads up on the Melanie Joy lecture. It's brilliant. I'll be sending it around. I hope other The Gardener's Cottage readers will have time to watch it.


      Your garden is so lovely. It's amazing how thick and lush it became over such a short time. Just beautiful.


  12. So very beautiful, the progress and the result. Blog and garden both.

    I've had at least 6 slumps since I started:). I just stay shallow when I'm depleted and dive deeper when I can. Take a break - you can you know, if you want. But I always like your posts, never mind the frequency.

  13. I love to stop by and see whatever it is you have decided to post about, Janet. I do understand feeling a blog slump though, and believe that it happens to everyone. Just go easy on yourself and post whenever you can.

    The transformation of your home and garden is remarkable, and your place is absolutely beautiful now! Thank you for sharing all the pictures of the changes with us. I feel even more inspired to continue with our home and garden makeover. Have a lovely weekend! :)

  14. You've worked wonders with your garden Janet, like you it's beautiful. I've been so busy lately, I've hardly had time to think, so blogging has been on the back burner, but I'll get back to it in a few days. I love and appreciate your honesty and that's just one of the many reasons I love your blog.

  15. I found your blog about a year ago, and felt an immediate connection. I like everything about it. I went back and looked at all the archived posts, and still continue to visit the archives to find pictures that I like or want to use as a reference. Your photography makes the most simple thing look so appealing. When your blog is up, my husband has walked by and stopped and commented on how attractive the rooms in your home look. This has never happened with any other site.

    Because of your positive influence I have taken many steps to simplify, refine my diet, appreciate the beauty around all around me in the largest and smallest of ways,and to approach life with a rye sense of humour that I decern from your writing. I've even made a purchase or two based on your recommendations. It might be corny to say, but I think you are the neighbor I wish I had, the sister I wish was in my family.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one. There are always those who for whatever reason do not comment. Until today I was content to just be a lurker, but something in your post today made me want to step up. Janet, you never know whose life you might be touching in a positive way. You certainly have made a huge difference in mine.

    Neptune Beach

    1. Ditto
      This is a lovely addition to my comment/praise of you which is shown in the previous post but that you are obviously too busy playing in the sprinklers to respond to;)

      Your yard is gorgeous, Janet. I love the English garden mix of floral and fauna(sp?). What a transformation! And BTW, you have a ghost. Just wanted to let you know that I see it in many of your photos. It is always on the right side and you will see it in photos 1 and 6 in this post. I have seen it in many others as I went back through the archives. Do you sense it in your cottage?

    2. oh sweetsy, you are too sweet and too kind. that ghost that you see is really just a bad camera lens on the very first camera i used when we moved in here. you will always see it when i post pictures of any before shots. as in before i started my blog. sharp of you to notice it though. many people have asked me if i feel a ghost presence in this house b/c of its age and i have to say no. i tried but to no avail!

    3. Janet, your home is beautiful, your garden is beautiful, and you are beautiful. I hope you will get your inspiration back soon.

  16. You and Larry have worked wonders with your garden. I love that you have all the before and after photos too.

    Personally I will never tire of your posts or what you have to say and would miss you if you left completely so I hope the slump is just a phase.

    Blogging has been such a creative outlet for me that I have not experienced a slump.
    I haven't been at it as long as you have so I suppose my slump is coming!

    Have fun this weekend!

  17. Janet, I'm selfish in that I enjoy the product of your labor--I don't blog because I'm such a lousy photographer. But having something to say has never been a problem here. Thank you for the lovely pictorial of your garden--to me it's perfection and I love how you've breathed new life into your charming cottage and garden. Of course, my fave is your beautiful porch. I'd love to be sitting there with a cup of tea. xoxox, Allegra

  18. Gloria's comments are spot-on. I love popping by The Gardener's Cottage every once in a while. Its always an inspiration.

  19. Janet, Your blog is one of my favorites. I enjoy all the posts of your beautiful garden. You have the most fabulous roses! I have been inspired many times by the classy, simple style in your home. However, most of all, I find your frankness and blatant honesty very refreshing. I think you are a bit hard on yourself and should just keep on being yourself. I don't typically comment on blogs but wanted you to know that I find your blog interesting and it has been very inspiring for me in maintaining a simple lifestyle. I have even tried several of your vegan recipes.

    Take a break if you must. However, I wanted you to know that your blog is one of the first I started following regularly and one that I thoroughly enjoy!

    York, PA

  20. Feeling the same way. Been there posted about it and done it again.

    Between the weeds and the watering and the gym and the sprained ankle I have been elsewhere and feeling vaguely catholic guilty about it.

    Take all the time you need. It's summer. Everybody takes a vacation.

    xo jane

    P tho I was going to send you an email to see what the hell was up......

  21. Enjoy yourself and the summer! We'll just wait until you're ready to show us the next fabulous thrift store find or delicious new recipe. :)

    talk to you soon ~

  22. Oh WOW, everything in your yard is beautiful. All of your landscaping looks so professional..really like your front porch...WOW..once again...

  23. So beautiful!!!!!
    As for blogging in the summer ...... I have been enjoying some time off too!

  24. JANETTTTTT!!! This is how I remember your garden looking when I first found you in Dec 2009! I just love your garden, it is gorgeous and I think it's fab how much it has grown.

    In a blog slump I just don't post. I think you have to be in the mood to do it.

    But generally I have so much stuff whizzing inside my mind that I can't wait to share. If that makes sense.

    Meanwhile my garden looks like crap and is awful and dead and won't recover til summer.

    Did I tell you I'm planning to come to America in 2013????????? Prepare Emotionally for my presence NOW.

    I have nothing else to report x

  25. It's probably been a year now that I found your blog. I do enjoy your posts and at times have gone back to look at past posts (especially the kitchen one.) I love your simple but elegant way of decorating and I'm learning a lot from you on how to be healthy.
    I noticed lately that several of my favorite blogs are posting less frequently. I think the summer time makes it hard to stay inside, on the computer. Everyone needs a break now and then to recharge.
    I myself, have taken a step back and looked at my blog and thought - What the Hell is this Thing About?"- Dogs, Mod Furniture, Writing, Gardening,Cats, Art and lots of rambling???....I need to get handle on this thing and figure it out but the Summer heat has left my brain too fried to think...kinda of a different sort of "burn out"?

  26. I LOVE your beautiful garden. It is so inspiring and full of lush life. I really enjoy ALL of your posts Janet. I am telling you that your voice plays in my head sometimes regarding food, consumption, simplicity etc... I really think about certain things that I did not think about before. So you are making a difference out there in bloggy land.

    I seem to notice a lot of slacking in the blog world. Summer is busy here in our house with 3 kids going in totally different directions so I feel like I am not on the computer as much...but I do use my blog as my family scrapbook so many of my posts are just that and I hate to get too behind.


  27. How beautiful your garden and cottage are Janet. Truly lovely and I love how the garden has progressed. The fence you put in at the front is such a great addition and really works well and the planing fabulous. As you have probably guessed, yes, I am in a blog slump so to speak and feel guilty for not posting often enough.... I have an idea though that may get me going again in a couple of months which will involve a completely new blog I think. Will post about the new changes afoot at the beginning of July..... Just do what you wish regarding your blog whenever you post will be fine by us all I would think and everyone will understand there are times when you just want a REST FROM IT ALL!!!! XXX

  28. Janet. I absolutely love your blog. In fact, I read only about 5 regularly and yours is the one I look forward to reading most of all. You are an inspiration to me. (I'm still figuring out what the heck I'm actually blogging about.) So, I'll wait patiently during any time you need to rejuvenate. I will always appreciate that you were the first person to ever comment on one of my blog posts. You will never know how much that meant to me. Thank you!

  29. Janet,

    You have done an amazing job of landscaping your yard. Did you and Larry design all of it yourself??

    I remember when you were in a blog slump a year ago...maybe it's a summer thing? :/


  30. Janet, add me to the list of the many who are inspired and charmed by your blog! Because of you I've really simplified my wardrobe, I think twice before I bring home anything new to my house, and after today's post, I'll be adding some more plants to my garden. I would love a post describing all the things you've planted in your yard - it is gorgeous! I hope you get some some time away from blogging to recharge and re-energize - but I do want to join the chorus of others letting you know how much your blog is appreciated and enjoyed.

    Barbara in Northern CA

  31. Janet, I am stationed in Iraq and your blog is one that I read everyday. Actually, there are three I check everyday just for a pick-me-up; yours, Sue at BeachBungalow & Acountryfarmhouse. You have no idea how uplifting just a picture or a few words can do for the spirits of someone away from home.
    And although we have a lot of time on our hands here, I understand that in the "real world" people have actual lives and interests and things to do other than stay online all day. :) That being said- I really love your blog whether or not you blog every day or once a week- I always enjoy it! Stay encouraged and know you bring a smile to the faces of people around the world!

  32. Well, I think it was serendipity, I stumbled across your blog at a time when my husband and I were downsizing (somewhat voluntarily, somewhat by force due to a corporate "downsize".) And although I've never been a 'keeper of things', nearing the age of fifty, I found that I had plenty to purge. You've been a real source of inspiration, and as a former writer of a blog, I can certainly empathize with your plight. Hang in there! I only follow a handful of blogs and yours is at the very top of my list. Thanks to you, I have cleaned and edited my closet, my kitchen, my entire life ... including my diet. Those Gardein burgers you recommended have become a family favorite. And remember, sometimes the simplest posts can be the most interesting. I absolutely adore your house and can't tell you how many times I've perused your decor. Your wardrobe and fashion sense may be envied by many, but I covet that Viking Stove!

  33. And, oh yes, I'd love to see more posts on your diet and what you eat in day to day life. Gradually, over the past couple years, I have become vegetarian and need ideas on how to supplement protein and come up with hearty, stomach fillin' veggie meals for my family. Thanks again for all your inspiration!

  34. What a transformation! The progress and change is stunning. I am attracted to "cottage style" and your yard is consistent with the style...inviting, cozy and full.

    I predict that after a week or two of blogging blahs, you'll find your bliss has returned - at least I HOPE so. I think there are at least two approaches to the slump - either 1) analyze and re-analyze and spend a lot of time worrying about it and trying to push oneself through it or 2) putting it as far out of mind as possible and moving through ones days as naturally and joyfully as possible.

    If the creative muse doesn't lead you back after #2, there would be a lot of unhappy "followers" :), but I rather expect I'd see you back sooner than you might imagine with your unique and admirable style...

  35. A break is good every now and again. I'm on a three-month break myself, and plan to thoroughly enjoy the summer :)

    I have the same rabbit in my garden, have owned him for years and years!

    Will miss you terribly and hope you resume your lovely, thoughtful, inspiring, and soothing posts.

  36. There's such satisfaction in looking back and seeing the progress and changes we make with our homes. You know I have an affinity for red houses and seeing this pictures just warms my heart.

    I no longer have time to take outfit photos, so I have been kind of stumped on where my blog has been headed too. I haven't logged on and read any blogs for a long time now either because I am really trying to live in the moment and be present with my family these precious moments I am not sucked into the vortex of my job. It is wholly satisfying, but all consuming at the same time.
    I am with you my friend. Where do we go from here?

  37. I don' have my own blog but love reading yours and being able to see how your garden has progressed. I love it! It must be hard work to keep it so nice like that. I don't blog but I get into moods where I don't feel like reading others' blogs. I just stay away for a few days and then the mood changes and I'm back reading again. Love your recipes and lifestyle and hope you take some time off and relax and enjoy your garden for awhile. It's like another job to feel like you have to blog every day I would think. Anyway, look forward to you returning with more of your great recipes, fashion, decorating and garden pics.

  38. I'm not a blogger, but I'm a painter, and I'm in a big slump. Have decided not to beat myself up over it, but just to take the summer off. I somehow need quiet now too. Tired of my own voice also.
    Your home is one of the most charming places ever - so magical and so you. I love that the house is red, and all of the care and artistic way you planted your garden.
    Post whenever you feel like it - I'll still be here - quiet I hope.

  39. Thanks for sharing the before and afters ~ it showcase the TLC that's gone into your home and garden. While I don't want you to go away, I understand the need to take breaks from the routine. Take the pressure off and enjoy our beautiful SoCal weather. And take your camera (:

  40. Hi Janet, I'm just a blog reader but I find that lately I've not been commenting as much as usual. However, I just had to pop in to tell you how much I love the blog, especially these before and after photos of the garden and porch - stunning! Please do take a break, or slow down or whatever you need to do - it sounds like all your readers will be here waiting for you when you get back!

  41. Hi Janet,
    I love to see your house and garden before and after. Really amazing what you've done in thee years. Do you ever think that blogging is sort of like having house guests? Whenever I'm planing a dinner party or preparing for house guests I work extra hard getting things "ready" and I notice I do this for my blog. I like to get things camera ready...whatever the works for me. I love your porch and love that you added the white at the end of the porch where the door used to be...or perhaps is still there? Your garden is amazing and I can't wait to see what's in store for me in my garden.

    I was reading a few of the comments and agree with Michelle. You have been a source of inspiration for me as well. House, garden, food,'ve made me think about everything a little a very good way.

  42. I recently began following your blog and I am hooked! I love to see what fashion you've put together, what you're doing in your garden, or what inspiring purging you've been up to. And as a family therapist, I loved your Father's Day tribute to your husband. I'll keep on the lookout for your posts, whenever they arrive!

  43. Love your garden :)

    Writing is as organic a process as gardening- sometimes the words ( like flowers) just burst out, demanding a place on a page ( or a garden) , and other times, it's time to reflect and plan ( like winter). Enjoy both-and all the inbetweens.

    Jealous of anyone right now enjoy warm temps-here in the PNW we are having one COLD summer :(
    My hyacinth bean may never get up the arbor this year! EEK!

  44. I beleive a garden reflects one's soul... and you my dear have a lovely soul! I remember that even with all the work we had put into the house, it wasn't until I put my hands in to the soil that the house became "mine"!

    Amen sista! I've been thinking the same thing... needing a break, and wanting to take some time this summer. And, as one of your very first commenters:) I think you deserve it! Take a breath, enjoy... we'll all be here when you are ready to speak again!

  45. Where's the fauna?

    1. I now know you can't plant this thing called fauna. And it may sometimes be tough to catch in photographs. You learn something new everyday:)

    2. Yes, it's good to learn new things. Looks like Janet has learned something also! (It was her reference to fauna that prompted my question... she has since edited her post.)

    3. what? what am i missing here? i didn't edit my post.

    4. when we first moved in there were few creatures here. now we have tons of birds, squirrels and fox now that the garden is planted.

  46. oh ajj...
    if ever anyone deserves a little blogging holiday it's you!
    i love before and afters. your cottage looks loved.
    and it knows it. it's a smiling cottage now. all spiffy and
    as are you.
    tammy j

  47. Janet, like Gloria I have been a blog lurker, content not to comment but drinking In every detail of your decorating, cooking and fashion sense. You have inspired me to minimize, think twice about my purchases, re-purpose, simplify and eat better. You inspire me with every post. Thank you!

    Gosh it must be a lot of pressure for you to "perform" so to speak! Everyone who comments on your blog seem so nice- we are happy when you post but i think we all want YOU to be happy, you have given us so much. maybe you should just take a break and recharge. We will still be here when you get over your slump.


  48. Hi Janet..I have been a silent reader for more than a year, really love your simple and practical way of living life. You have been a true inspiration to me...hope you feel better soon. Love your garden, and all the before and after pictures!!

  49. Janet,

    I am a teacher, so summers find me with more available time. I have just gotten into the world of blogging, and am currently only a reader of blogs. I truly look forward to whatever bit of wisdom you have to share through your blog and am thrilled when I see a new message from you. I do understand though how the creative juices can feel like they are done. I find that happening with me periodically at school. One thing that helps me is to make a list of things I want to use with my students when my ideas have run dry. At any rate please know that you are truly appreciated and inspirational. Bobbie

  50. There are about five of six blogs that I read regularly and really love, yours is one of them. I don't think I could check in on many more, I know there are others out there that I could really be into and be inspired by, but it can be a time sucker. A time sucker in GOOD and inspiring way, but a time sucker all the same. I don't comment very often becasue sometimes I wonder if I have anything to say that hasn't already been commented on, but every now and then I feel the urge to share my two pennies. I feel a bit of a kindred spirit with you as I am an esthetician, prefer small spaces and am perfectly happy with less stuff and fewer clothes . . you are not my kindred spirit, unfortunately in that you are much more diligent about living green and cruelty. I honestly think I could be vegetarian and even vegan, but would be a PAIN to try and feed my family that way. I have teen son who is always completely starving and says "where's the meat" (he really says that) if I serve up a nice salad for dinner or something! You live the way I want to live I suppose.

    1. I meant cruelty FREE of course. That is another way we not alike. You can string together a sentence!:)

  51. Im in a total slump. I hardly blog these days but my excuse is crushing headaches...!

    Ugh. Feeling a bit better today for a change. Love your home and garden...what a gorgeous spot you've got. xo Terri

  52. Janet,
    Love your blog. Your life style is an encouragement to me ie live with less stuff! If you need a break, you should take it. You'll be missed! SS

  53. Delightful isn't enough to exclaim what I feel as I see your space . . . Such beauty you have created . . .

  54. You should be so proud of all you have done ! Lovely.

  55. Me too! In a slump that is. I am so focused on trying to get this weight off that checking in on blogs i used to go to everyday, now get looked at weekly, maybe. Some i have even deleted from my bookmarks. Interestingly enough, there are a few i do open daily, yours is one of them. Yours because i love the mix of fashion and food and decorating and gardening and a cute husband! All things i love (referring to my cute husband, though, not yours). Back off a bit, if you must, but i would hate it if you went away.

  56. Janet,
    Well, of course we have seen what a dynamo you are in your cottage and in your garden.
    Just because you are in a slump is no excuse to feel guilty. I remember having a bad, no make that wicked infection whilst nursing my daughter ant teh Doc said, keep it up, you need to nurse through the pain. I think that was the worst slump....for me....but I kept nursing and now she is 12 and all that is a distant memory. So I guess what I am trying to say, share the painful parts or slumpy parts too. We love you, your garden, your cottage, your love for life and we all have slumps. Like the slide at the park, we must remember to slide in life too.
    Heck, you have shared so much - for which we are all better people. I mean it. I want to give you a hug now and say darn you Janet for making me want to paint my shoe boxes. Darn you for making me want chambray and sequins. Darn you for making me want leopard and a thrift store burberry coat. Darn you for making me think I might be able to eat vegan. Yep - see what a slump you have caused. Some things I do master and others I fall short but you always inspire and humor me.

  57. Janet! What a wonderful transformation. Your garden is absolutely stunning and it looks so well established like it's been there for years and years. I wish you could come over and help me with mine, the rain's been so heavy for so long that all my hard work earlier this year's been totally obliterated and it's back to the jungle it was before.
    Your blog is always a joy to read, be it recipes, outfits or interior design. I'd miss you terribly if you didn't blog but if you need a break feel free, I and all your other loyal readers aren't going anywhere! xxx

  58. Oh, I love your garden. I've come to think of you as a blogging guru, janet. Even gurus have to take time out for themselves. Tending to blogging is like motherhood. You have go "out" every once in awhile to come home refreshed. Enjoy your time guilt free. Rosanne

  59. This transformation is amazing....but no surprise... your whole cottage is amazing. Why aren't you being published?

  60. Janet,

    I am a silent reader and have been following your wonderful blog for over two years. I can truly understand the need for a much deserved break!!! I enjoy several types of blogs from cooking, lifestyle and interior design and can see how much time and effort it takes to post and keep up a blog.

    It is what has kept me from starting my own blog at this time in my life. Working 50+ hours each week leaves me exhausted when I come home. And who wants to be glued to a computer on the weekends. Maybe one day... when I retire.

    In the mean time enjoy this glorious California sunshine and keep some private time to yourself! Your readers will be here when you decide to return. :) Mrs. S

  61. Janet - I am a recent reader of your lovely blog and appreciated your kind responses to my inquiries about the Viking stove. Just to say DH really loves that stove of yours, and I enjoy the lovely, minimal and thoughtful photos and writing that you post on your blog. Your garden, sense of style, interior decor and fashion all very inspirational.

    Clearly you have many readers and followers and it is quite natural to sometimes allow oneself to take a break now and then when hosting a creative blog like yours. I wish you a wonderful respite and look forward to visiting your site again.

  62. Ive just come across your lovely blog and its really cheered me up no end, like you Im in the middle of a blog slump and havnt posted since APRIL!!!Im in the process of moving house nursing a broken wrist and just about to go into hospital for a major opp that will put me out of action for 6 weeks! I found I couldnt look at the computer untill 2 wks ago it just seemed to highlight the fact that I was stuck at home and the world was carrying on regardless, I havnt posted yet but your lovley pics have inspired me to have another go. keep up the good work I'll be back
    Buttercup and Bee (from rainy old England)

  63. thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. your word really made
    me happy and greatful for having such reader.
    it is quietly raining here this monday morning and will enjoy this
    quiet day off. i hope your day is good.

    you have such a luxurious garden. so much space which i need.
    are you interested in cardiospermum(balloon plant)seed, let me know.
    will send some.

  64. janet, i have thoroughly enjoyed your blog, which i just discovered recently. i am the one who was up in the wee hours of the morning after drinking the pepsi to get thru painting the deck. i am looking for more blogs that will inspire me to save, recycle, minimize, etc, instead of consume, consume, consume. we are bombarded every day with info which tells us to buy this and buy that. so, every once in awhile it is good to stop the info, duck your head, hide out among the trees n flowers and realize we will most likely be there when you get back. so enjoy.

  65. Janet......I really loved this post in particular....I seem to love them all......but seeing your gardens and how they have grown has given me inspiration for my own garden. I have been working on it for a couple of years. Someday I hope mine will look like yours. More pictures would be lovely..... words arent' even necessary. I do enjoy your blog and completely understand that there are times that posts are sometimes difficult to write and keep up with. I will keep visiting because I truely enjoy your blog.

  66. Your home is adorable! And your flowers...I have serious garden envy! Ya'll have done a great job in planning and planting. It's perfection!

  67. Blogging gets old. It did when I was doing it regularly from 2004-2008 (about life in Asia) and realized that I wasn't doing things in real life that weren't blogworthy. I recently picked up reading and blogging again as an outlet and was confused for a while on the direction, but your blog, which is one of only 3 that I read, has inspired me to chronicle the transformation of my first home. In fact, I just wrote about you the other day. Hope you don't mind :)

    PS. This is also the first comment I've left on a blog in years. It's kind of intimidating, really.

  68. janet.... your landscaping is wonderful- i cannot believe it has only been 4 years. what do you do to your grass to make it so wonderful? mine, although new, is full of weeds. even tho i do not comment, i check your blog all the time and am addicted. so.... please do not loose your voice. i need to hear what you have to say.thanks for what you put out there, robin in umbria

  69. Dear Janet, I have been gratuitously cheeky about you on my blog, sorry but the Real Me is coming out! Sorry to hear about slump - I have been having more generalised life slump - nothing serious, just tired all the time, I think it is the great responsibility of running a duck maternity hospital, with CIA training facility attached..xxxxxx

  70. Hi Janet,
    While I love to hear anything you have a say, everyone needs a break now and then. I notice that there are bloggers do take breaks. Whether it's "a technology break" or "gone fishing" or my favorite, "will be away from my computer while I'm touring Europe for 6 weeks" (all I can say, she better post pics!). Do what you need to do to take care of your self. Life should as fun as we can make it.
    so take a deep breath and take a blog vacation. I will be here reading your archives again.
    SF Bay Area

  71. I know I also have not posted as much as I would have liked to. sometimes, real life gets in the way of the joy of blogging. I have been spending a lot of time at the hospital as my elderly in laws have been in there. My father in law sadly passed away yesterday, bringing a small amount of relief to the family, but there is not a lot to blog and celebrate at the moment, and my blogging is more about that for me. I will get my groove back, I hope, as I do not intend to continue getting home well after dark for too much longer. I will need to balance things out a bit better. At the moment I am just enjoying reading everyone elses stuff!

  72. Don't ever worry about not posting to your blog often enough. As long as you keep blogging your fans are happy. I admire people who model self-care. We all need to work at keeping balance in our lives. You have had a great influence on me. The pure simpleness of your environments inspire me. Your '33' goal with your wardrobe has had a great impact on my approach to clothes. And I love being introduced to a vegan diet and the possibilities with food. Please take good care of yourself. You are loved.

  73. Hi Janet, I have been reading your blog diligently for a while now but I have been a bit shy to leave a comment until now:) I don't believe for a second you being lazy it's just the heat that drains yout energy. And your garden looks as beautiful as your home.
    I love your blog so much that I have nominated it for One Lovely Blog Award. All the best.

  74. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into your yard; it's beautiful. I would love to see a post on how you take care of your roses.

  75. Isn't it rewarding to look back and see all that you've accomplished in a short amount of time. Even the house seems to have been resurrected from the dead. It's always the small details that can make such a big difference. It's really fun to see what you've done.

  76. Wow, you do get a lot of love around here! Not only do I love your blog, I enjoy reading the comments you get as they are refreshing in their sincerity (not just blog plugs) and readers' adoration for you. I am sure they will stick around no matter how long of a hiatus you take. Thank you for taking the time to read every single comment and respond. I'm glad I've found such a graceful blogger to follow!

  77. Dear Janet, Do take a holiday but don't desert us for too long! I haven't blogged for quite a while because whenever I'm about to post a photo up pops a message saying "oops!" and telling me that I've used up all my image space and need to buy more! Does this happen to other bloggers? I've got a load of photos I'd like to add. Am just back from London where everything seems to be draped in Union Jack flags, due to the Queen's Jubilee and the coming Olympics. With love to you, Rosemary.

  78. Dear Janet, your yard is beautiful. i discovered your blog about a month ago, it too is lovely and i have enjoyed visiting. i started blogging (blog lite really) about a year ago as a means of developing a bit of discipline and better photographic work habits. it has worked but i realized very quickly blogging could rule my life and take me away from the 'main' thing which is my art. Enjoy your quiet time! all the best, tracy

  79. Hi Janet, I truly admire what you have achieved in your home and garden, it's all beautiful.
    At this point in time I'm trying to keep blogging to at least say I made it to my first blogging anniversary. I need to be in the mood and lately stuff has been happening in my life that takes precendance. We all have to follow our own path in this blogging caper.

  80. The transformation is stunning! Good job! Hope you get a good rest and take care of yourself. We will still be here when you return. :)

  81. Just dropping by to say hello! Janet, I'm absolutely in love with the 5th photo of the garden, and the garden itself. Did you buy a new bench and let it weather or did you buy an old one? (Not sure if you've written about it before. But what a lovely spot to read or curl up with a cup of coffee under the big tree!) I love the way it blends in with the garden like it's been there since the beginning, which is funny because the garden itself is all you :)

  82. Love seeing the before and after....a garden fitting the gardner of the cottage. Still thinking about painting the house?

  83. Beautiful garden! I love the blog, but you have to follow your heart.

  84. Janet, I've so enjoyed reading your blog, and miss it. Will have to make due with the archives. Hoping you'll be inspired to continue.

    Enjoy your summer, and your sabbatical.

  85. You've done such a beautiful job.

  86. Just popping over to your blog, hoping to see a photo of the outside of your home. Yay! I see it. We just moved into a 1955 red brick house that needs a paint job....but I can't figure out what colors to use. I knew you had a red house and I see that your house has (what looks to me like) bright white trim. It looks great. Even though my home is brick~ it is very I think I will stick with white trim as well. Or....what colors would you recommend for the trim, shutters, and front door? Thanks so much, Laura

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