Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Secret Garden

Looking out the wall of windows from my bedroom is the "Secret Garden".   I spend much time there reading, contemplating life and watching all the birds, butterflies and hummers skirting from flower to
flower.

In addition, the birds dip and dive in the bird bath, but not often if I'm out there.  The hummingbirds seem fearless and come right up within arm's length to hover and look at me.  It is truly startling.  Usually I am
reading and I hear that little vibrating sound they make, look up and voila, there they are.

Last May I returned from Houston with Sunbrella fabric to recover the chaises.  The cushions only last about three or four years.  Then they are damaged by the intensity of the sun here at 6400 ft elevation as well as the three months of rain in the summer.  It was definitely time to get new fabric which I did.  It was tucked in the bottom of my suitcase because Sunbrella fabric in Mexico is very expensive.

I always find it at Hancock's which is a fabric chain that always seems to have the best prices.  Often below wholesale price. I have shopped at Hancock's for 50 years.  Used to be you could buy three yards of fabric for $1USD.  I could make an outfit for each of my three children for a dollar, back in the day.  Then in my business I ordered tens of thousands of yards of fabric and the wholesale prices are still in that addled brain of mine.  This Sunbrella was purchased on sale for about $6USD a yard.  Waaaay below wholesale.

The saleswoman said, "Wow that is a bright fabric, what are you using it for?".  I explained that I lived in Mexico and that in that country it would not be considered too bright.  As most of you know, color is
basically my middle name.

The old cushions went to the "upholsterer par excellence" about three weeks ago.  I knew I did not have enough fabric for the cording as well, but as always, he used his judgement and they came back just perfect.
Jose Luis worked for designers in Dallas for fourteen years.  His work is always perfect.  We have become good friends and it is always such fun when he delivers something.  We talk about family, his many motorcycles and life.  Mexico is so much about relationships.  In fact, I did not have enough cash to pay him yesterday when he delivered the cushions.  His response, "No problem, just bring it when it is convenient!"

It just makes me shake my head at the ways of Mexico.  In fact to digress, I once took a large group to dinner.  I thought they took credit cards.  Many places in San Miguel and Mexico do not.  I did not know that at this particular place until I went to pay with the credit card.  Nope, they did not take them, much to my chagrin.  The owner just smiled and said, "Oh just bring it tomorrow if it is convenient".  Amazing.

Here is how the Secret Garden looks with the newly upholstered cushions.


I call it the Secret Garden because when you enter the property, unless you walk over to the wall by the main gardens and notice the steps down, you would not know this is here.

Now that the monarchs are coming through in droves, I'll be spending as much time as I can out there reading, listening to music and just relaxing along with marveling at each and every butterfly.

Everyone should have a Secret Garden to reflect, read and rejuvenate!  Do you have one?  Tell me about it.


16 comments:

Dana Hill said...

Yes I do have a secret garden, Babs. It's my whole backyard! I live on a hill in the center of the big city of Oakland and my backyard goes down the hill in four levels of garden behind the house. It's surrounded by mature trees. No one can see it from the street, and no one would expect it to be there in the middle of the city. I use it, as you do, as my retreat, my tranquil place. Dana
danahillblog.blogspot.com

gringosuelto said...

The chaise lounges came out very nicely. I must say, you have a lovely garden and house; you really seem to have lucked out to find such a marvelous place, with a rental unit to boot.

As for secret gardens, I have had people stop by here in the summer and marvel at my "urban oasis" in the back of the house. It extends a considerable way beyond the house and is not visible from the street. Sadly, it's only really use able about six months a year, but I enjoy it to the max in the summer.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where secret garden will soon become secret snowbank.

Barbara Lane said...

Gorgeous. You are so gifted. It's always a delight to see your home, "visit" places you've visited (through your telling of them), and to hear your stories. You have an eye not only for color, arranging, and style, but for friends, fun, and creating and finding joy. You clearly know how to make a house a home. I'm so glad you've chosen to share these things with us. Thank you always.

Babs said...

Dana Hill, thank you so much for commenting.Your secret garden in Oakland with four levels sound exquisite. As busy as you are, I can understand how that tranquil retreat is so enjoyable.

Thanks for sharing.

Babs said...

Kim, snowbanks don't count (IMHO), ha. I would love to
see photos of your urban oasis. I'm sure it is magnificent.
I also hope someday you live somewhere where you can be outside
12 months of the year. It is refreshing.

Thanks for your comments.

Babs said...

Thank YOU Barbara Lane. My goodness your praise almost makes me blush.
I've always loved making a sow's ear into a silk purse. I wish you could
have seen what this place looked like when I moved in. But I do enjoy it
now and I also enjoy sharing it with all of you.

Hopefully some day you will be here in SMA and can see the gardens and house
in person.

Shelagh Kouwenhoven said...

Funny, we have similar colour choices here in Vancouver BC. When our sun comes out we run to the backyard, forget whatever else was plannedd!!! We spend so much time in our outdoor dining, relaxing beach area of our yard. Barbara we will do the same at yours, now if I can see some fireworks over there I will be the happiest of campers. The countdown will start in a few days.
Cheers, as Kim G always adds a sentence so will I
Where we picture drinking a bottle of white wine on the roof top deck to fly with the birds or roll with the clouds!

Kate Greenaway said...

The fabric is perfect Babs! I also wanted to say how much I enjoy your blogs and I'm delighted to finally figure out how to comment! (duh). We arrive tomorrow for our second visit -- 6 months this time -- and can't wait. Your blogs have really inspired and informed me, and I'm GLAD you're keeping them going with a bit of income and advertising. I plan to make good use of the search function, to follow in your tracks as we explore the area. I hope we get to meet! Cheers, Kate

Retired Teacher said...

You have a lovely garden, Barbara.
Well, you've seen pictures of my garden. It's not very "secret" or secluded, but one of my next-door neighbors also has a beautiful garden, so it's sort of like one big park. Like Kim, I only have a limited number of months to enjoy it. This year, with all the rain we had in the spring and early summer, the mosquitos were horrendous. I don't like to constantly use insecticides. When I had a big party for Alejandro's visit to Ohio, I went through 3 or 4 cans of fogger to make it habitable.

Babs said...

Thanks Kate. I'm so glad you enjoy the blog and that you have come back to SMA! Please give me a call, if you have time, and we can meet on the bench in the jardin or some place to meet. I'd love that. It IS a pretty hectic weekend, but if you're here next week, it would be great. My email is babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com or my home # is 152-8375. Best time to catch me is mornings before 10:30 or most nights.
Safe travels.

Babs said...

Bill, your gardens are exquisite. You have such a beautiful variety of flowers. I envy that you have hostas and many others that I wish I could grown down here but with the elevation doubt that is possible........

Sorry about the mosquitoes. I think the bats up on my roof are why I don't have any mosquitoes. It's really nice to be able to sit up on the roof terrace here to watch the sunsets. Having gardens on three levels is something I never expected to have in my life.

Thanks for commenting.

Babs said...

Shelagh, your outdoor area sounds magnificent. I did not realize that you are on the shore with water views. Lucky you.

I promise if you go to the roof when the fireworks are going off in the jardin, you will be able to see them. Probably more times then you want! And each morning about 8 and each evening about 7 the white ibis in huge flocks fly over the house going up to the dam in the botanical gardens or going back to the reservoir on the other side of town. Usually it is so quiet up here that you can hear their wings. Quite a unique experience.

While I'm drinking my pina coladas under the palapa at sunset while at the beach, I'll have pleasant thoughts of ya'll drinking white wine on the roof here.

Shelagh Kouwenhoven said...

Funny, we have similar colour choices here in Vancouver BC. When our sun comes out we run to the backyard, forget whatever else was plannedd!!! We spend so much time in our outdoor dining, relaxing beach area of our yard. Barbara we will do the same at yours, now if I can see some fireworks over there I will be the happiest of campers. The countdown will start in a few days.
Cheers, as Kim G always adds a sentence so will I
Where we picture drinking a bottle of white wine on the roof top deck to fly with the birds or roll with the clouds!

Scott McQuown said...

I don't have a secret garden to share from the normally very hot and dry North Texas area, but yours certainly is beautiful and apparently very relaxing.

Where we simply hope to keep our lawns alive.

Shelagh Kouwenhoven said...

Sorry Babs, we are land locked here. We have an area in our yard separate from our wood deck that has a big patio umbrella and two loungers and a small table between the chairs. The surface is all smalls rocks. Peter calls it the beach. So naturally after 17 years I automatically call it that too. Sorry for the confusion.

Babs said...

Scott, with the weather reports I'm seeing lately of Texas and the mess today, possibly a water garden with lilies could be in your future! What a mess..........

And Shelagh, well, as you know I'm DEFINITELY not on a beach. Wherever you're happy, that's all that matters