Wednesday, June 15, 2011


One of the reasons I know that I need to aleviate stress, is that I'm constantly thinking about ways to reduce it these days.  When I woke up Monday morning sort of aching from head to toe, I knew that I need to get proactive.  The thing is I can't seem to figure out what to do.  Exercise isn't even making me feel better and forget meditation.  I'm like Lori - I try to meditate and find myself making a grocery list instead!  So, I'm looking for moments of peace and quiet which have to be enough right now.

The beach is my ultimate happy place but of course I work full time so it's not like I could go there and stay until I feel better.  Not to mention that our temperatures have been around 15 degrees below normal for a couple of weeks, so it's definitely not beach weather. 

When we bought our house 5 years ago, we told people that we had the next best thing to a condo - very little outside maintenance required but still a small piece of property and a home not connected to anyone else.  When I say our property is small, I mean SMALL.  I think the total size of our plot is 1/10th of an acre.  When you pull into my long narrow driveway, you are driving towards the garage.  To the left of the garage and behind the house is what used to be a small yard.  The owners before us decided to dig up the yard from the edge of the house to the back of the propery, pour cement and fence it in.  Which means that the only grass yard we have is a tiny strip in the front and and an even smaller strip down the side.  It's just enough to give Mr. Helen something to do with a weed wacker and let me have a couple of flowering bushes that wouldn't otherwise grow in a pot.

Around a year after we bought the house, we decided to have the cement resurfaced giving the patio a much nicer more "patio-y" look.  Each year that we've lived here I've decorated it,  increasing the number of pots a bit more.  While our season is short, pretty much from last frost to first frost, I keep it decorated and try to have something growing.  Next to the beach, it has become a favorite place and each winter as I look out my kitchen window I can't wait to create my little piece of calm and quiet.  I know it's hard to believe that I can have that when I live in a neighborhood where my neighbors are in spitting distance, but something about that fence and the pots of flowers and veggies make it so.
We're finally having some decent weather today and I'll be looking for stress relief so I'll be heading out there this evening after work, I'm sure.  If you're ever in the neighborhood, you're welcome to join me.

Why is the dahlia leaning like that?

Dill &Cilantro - that I started from seeds!
Have no idea what I'm doing but they're growing!!

The very first green peppers I've ever tried to grow are on their way!

Tomatoes coming too... can't wait to make Caprese Salad!


  1. Oh Helen if you only knew how much I would love to join you tonight. I see us sitting there chatting and drinking a good glass of Chardonnay.

    I love your patio and it's so good you have a place at home where you can relief stress.

    For me that's my garden too but also the rest of my house. My home is precious to me and I love being at home.

    Have a good day sweety and when you decide to take that glass of wine tonight, cheer on me as I will cheer on you when I have mine.

  2. You know what? I live on 2 1/2 acres, but I do all my planting in pots too. Because the soil might as well be concrete! And I agree, it is an oasis. I didn't go out there all last year because you-know-who was a bit disruptive. But yesterday I wandered out there and sat and drank my second cup of coffee, and it was so peaceful and wonderful. I will definitely be doing more of that this year!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous. And, peaceful, and fun!
    I'd love to sit there with a pitcher of sangria, and you.

  4. Dahlias need staked.

  5. OK, anonymous is making me giggle.

    Um, also? I love your plant stands and think you've made your patio so pretty. Love the lights, too. I wanna sit out there with you and Fran!

  6. I was going to say what Anonymous said. But, you might have to be careful because Dahlias might be hurt by a stake that is put on after they have grown and flowered.

    I think container gardening is the best, and yours is some of the most beautiful I've seen in a while.

  7. Your oasis looks lovely. And as you work with your plants and flowers, even on a small scale, their beauty peaceful energy are very likely to infuse your own body/mind/spirit space. This post makes me want to get out and work in my garden!

  8. I love your little oasis! Count me in as someone who wants to sit out there with you. It would be QUITE the party I'm sure!!! Take care Helen.

  9. Your patio is marvelous, I can't believe it is cement. I would like a little oasis too.

    How is your husband doing? And FIL?

  10. I love how "patio-y" your space looks! Quite an Oasis. We have a big lot over an acre, but our favorite spot is under our gazebo in the summer - love it!

    I told Shelley in an email already today, but I ran 3.2 miles at lunch today - and my first mile was ten minutes - woot! I finished in 41:00 - not too bad for me! :D

  11. What a nice space! I would repot that dahlia a little deeper or give a stake (as anonymous so eloquently put it).

    I find puttering around and doing a bit of weeding does wonders for clearing my mind.

  12. Your oasis is lovely! I think having some flowers and a little greenery makes me feel calmer and more at peace.

  13. See, I like a nice patio, and yours fits the bill! And look what you've done with all the pots bursting with flowers; definitely keeps it looking natural and pretty!