Have you ever walked into a space and felt like there is just a lot of love inside of it? When I bought my little home in Arizona last year I experienced what I will always call the best buying experience ever. I found myself back in Arizona after being in Europe for the summer and wanted to buy something I could renovate myself so when I found my little secret garden and home I was smitten. Before me, the original owner lived here her entire life, she was 98 when she left and I wanted to take care of it for her in a way that she would be pleased. The garden was in need of some care and it was the best part of the property for me. The space was compact and quirky with so much potential. Before I moved into this space I lived in a house with two acres, an orchard and a swimming pool the size of a supermarket so this cozy home was just right for me. I remember saying to my realtor the moment I walked in that I wanted it, I walked in the front door and immediately walked outside to the garden where I felt the love and the warmth of the sun. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and you will know why at the end of the post.
The olive tree had to be craned in over the houses next to me so she was high in the sky dangling from a cord before she was planted. I will say, I love olive trees not only for their symbol of peace but for the presence they offer. I learn something new every single time I walk into my garden and just look at her.
Growing herbs was important to me mainly because I cook a lot and enjoy the fragrance of rosemary, thyme and lemon verbena wafting through the air. These herbs below were very small when I planted them a year ago and look how big they are! The mint grows very well in the AZ sun and the rosemary doesn’t mind the 115 degree days we get in the summer. WOW.
I used to spend tons of money on outdoor furniture and you know what? I am done with that! For a long time I only had two chairs to sit on which was fine for a little bit and then I thought I needed to spruce it up a bit. Ikea always makes nice and affordable outdoor pieces so I found exactly what I needed there. Popcorn loves his garden as well, obviously.
Off the side of the garden is a window that looks into or out of the guest room. I specifically designed the garden this way so that my guests would have a nice view. The way it is now my friends can see orange and lemon trees as well as a vintage bird cage from a California.
Are you ladies and gents familiar with creeping fig? It is a staple here in Paradis Valley and especially in my neighborhood which is called Casa Blanca. All the houses are white and most of them have this green lush vine crawling all over the walls. My friend, Charlie gave me these driftwood pieces to help the vines a little, it loves the support and it looks cool too!
Ok now brace yourselves, here are the photos when I first moved in, September 2013. I know, right….wild. I loved the tile and wanted to save it but it was beyond repair and ALL those trees were mosquito havens so they had to go too.
Needless to say, the love and soul of the garden has always remained and will continue to live and breathe life into my little outdoor space. I am grateful for my peaceful space and if you are ever in Arizona please do stop by and I will make us some mint tea!
Wishing you a lovely day filled with meaningful moments,
All photography by Jocelyn Casey, use as you may.