en plein air

 


Outdoors.  My favorite place to be but with my allergies it is getting harder and harder to be outdoors.  This is why Francisco has been a godsend.  This garden was in pretty bad shape when he arrived.  It had been neglected for a solid 2 years so his work was cut out for him.  Slowly but surely every week he tended it and while it still has a way to go it's a miracle to me that it is coming back.



One of my favorite things he has done is install sprinklers in the front.  What a relief!  Watering this garden was a full time job in the summer so now everything is watered consistently and efficiently.  He is also creating a boxwood garden along that side fence.  It will be about 3 years before it will look really good but it is so exciting to me.  He has sprinkled in some white iceberg roses because they are pretty tough too.



I have a sweet story about Francisco I'd like to share.  So on one of my daily walks I pass a gorgeous old Mediterranean home.  The garden is just so spectacular.  Each time I pass I would try to figure out a way to get Francisco up here to show him this garden.  Well one day as I'm walking by Francisco pulls up and sure enough begins working in the garden.  Turns out he is the gardener at this house!  How random is that?  I think it's kismet.  x

42 comments

  1. A year ago we too hired someone to help us out with our garden. It has been a godsend, and I enjoy still doing some work in the garden and enjoying it so much more. Your garden looks beautiful!

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  2. A year ago we too hired someone to help us out with our garden. It has been a godsend, and I enjoy still doing some work in the garden and enjoying it so much more. Your garden looks beautiful!

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  3. Wonderful! You must have known in your soul! D.

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  4. It was indeed kismet! Francisco sounds like a gem and your garden looks incredible. I can easily imagine sitting on that bench (any time of day, really) but especially during the long twilights of summer. I welcome back your posting with joy.

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  5. Just lovely! A garden brings such beauty and peace to our days. So glad you found Francisco, he's a Godsend.

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  6. At 76 years of age I decided it was time to get some help. I enjoy working in the yard but there are some things that are beyond us at this age and, frankly, we shouldn't. Living alone now, a fall would be devastating. So, hire a gardener I did. A gift to myself. That magnificent tree in your garden is stunning, Janet. With it providing shade, you use less water and moisture is retained. Everything is lovely. It seems not only does your garden provide beauty but a bit of peace too.

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  7. Definitely kismet! And it looks beautiful. Complements your interior design perfectly IMO.

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  8. It was meant to be! And your garden is off to a beautiful start!

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  9. Your yard and gardens are gorgeous. Can you send Francisco here to the Chicago 'burbs to work magic in my yard, too? :-)

    xoxo

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  10. Janet,
    Fransisco sounds like a hard working gardener, your garden looks amazing! We have sprinklers that we constantly move around the garden and I do the hand watering...it keeps me quite busy in the summertime! A built in system would be so worth installing.
    Great to see snippets of your garden and always a joy to see a new post from you.
    XO
    We have a fellow that comes once a month and he really helps keep our garden looking tidy.

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  11. Sprinklers! Genius!!

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  12. they've Said it All!!!
    it's so lovely. just like YOU. xoxo

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  13. It's like Christmas for me when "The Garden Cottage" posts!
    Allergies: while living in Colorado I redeveloped allergies. I began using "local" honey. Two teaspoons daily. I am told that the honey you should use should be as close in proximity to your home as possible. Be well.

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  14. Love seeing a post from you and seeing your garden is like the cherry on top!xo

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  15. seeing your lovely garden basking in the sunshine was just the tonic I needed on this cold wintery morning in Cape Town. Now that is serendipity!

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  16. That photo of the lovely sculptural tree! Just magical! Finding Francisco was meant to be--and so funny he also tends the beautiful grounds near you. Life is so funny and perfect sometimes. Your posts are a gift; thank you.

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  17. Thrilling. The best type of beautiful. Joy in the doing, joy in the receiving, love born.

    Francisco's heart, your heart. The heart of your loss. Growing, beauty, grace. A growing garden, growing your loss into a new relationship.

    In your garden, stewardship of sorrow. Stewardship is the transformation.

    Stewardship of your garden isn't about working in your garden, it's planted deeper, it's in your heart, and the tree of life.

    This intimacy, your garden, you, Francisco is the core of 'beatitudo'. Depths of happiness, "fulfillment through other-regarding action: love. Jesus said the same thing, when answering the question about the greatest commandment: love."

    Your relationship with your garden & Francisco is a magnet for us. Why? It is LOVE.

    Garden & Be Well, Tara

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  18. That is a great story about Francisco! And, the garden looks glorious! Now you can sit outside and drink in its beauty without all the hard work. Put your feet up and enjoy; you deserve it.

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  19. I’m so happy to see pictures of your beautiful garden and even happier to know that you’ve found ways to make its care easier on you.

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  20. So pleased you are back blogging. Your garden is absolutely beautiful. Are you still a vegan? I am not entirely, as I still have milk and cheese occasionally. I would love it if you would share some of your recipes
    J

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  21. Your garden is beautiful! So enjoy your posts!

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  22. Janet,
    Francisco must love what he does. It shows in your garden and probaby every garden he touches. That's great. Sitting outdoors, enjoying nature is soothing to the soul.
    So happy to hear from you.
    xo,
    Karen

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  23. I just hired a wonderful gardener, Angel (and he is). He's only come once with his wife Fannie, but he trimmed my overgrown boxwood hedge into perfect submission. This week he will start on the backyard.

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  24. I am so glad you are back and your pictures are magazine worthy! I live where everything gets baked to a crisp or else drowned in too much rain. I love your garden!

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  25. I'm glad you are getting along okay and that you also have help in the garden now; it looks beautiful. I try and try to leave you comments and 99 percent of the time, my comment is wiped out, but I want you to know I think of you, Janet, and I always wish you the very best! I'm Vicki from north of you in SoCalif and I've loved your blog for many years now.

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  26. Your garden looks heavenly and Francisco sounds like a gem!

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  27. hi vicki! so glad u are still around. to all my readers, i'm so glad u have hung in there with me. i cannot comment easily either. without you this blog is nothing! i love you all. x janet

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  28. Francisco knows what he's doing and i love this name! Just beautiful!
    So happy you are posting again and I think I speak for everyone here, we love you too! XOXO

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  29. I agree with the commenter who states it is like Christmas when you post. I have followed your blog for years. Thank you so much!

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  30. Janet, I was so happy to see your post! I think of you often and wonder how you're doing. The garden is looking so beautiful and calming. Oh my, those roses!
    Take care.
    Renee in Northern California

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  31. Wonderful to see you back posting Janet. I really look forward to reading your posts. The garden is looking amazing. Coming into Winter down here in New Zealand, so looking forward to spring again, when everything is full of colour.

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  32. Godsend indeed! What a gorgeous garden and wonderful story about Francisco. Happiness!

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  33. Gardens are so resilient & yours is certainly thriving with Francisco's care! What a sweet story about him! Talk about serendipity!! Your garden looks like a peaceful haven now - sure hope you can enjoy it with your allergies. I recently read that taking 30-60 mg. of zinc picolinate is very helpful for allergies & some family members of mine are reporting great success with it! You seem to have a "lightness" in your writing now & that makes me smile :) In my experience, gardens are magical & can have that effect on people who love them. Take care! Katie from Huntington Beach

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  34. Beautiful pictures! I love that tree!

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  35. Oh, joy. These recent posts are for me. Thank you. I love the cheer in your words. The garden is lovely . . . you are a huge part of its history . . . just needed to share it with someone who understands it.

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  36. Hi Janet, Happy to see you back to blogging again. I have always loved your yard, glad that you enlisted some help. I keep telling Tony we need to hire someone to redo part of our yard. He doesn't think we need to but it's just too much especially with him still working. Retirement is not too far off though!
    Linda
    xo

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  37. Everything about this is beautiful

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  38. So beautiful...

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  39. Confused here about Francisco'a story...you said turns out he is the gardener in this house? So he was your gardener prior to you seeing him at the neighbor's house?

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kindness is never out of style.

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