To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Two years ago we got a notice from the city that we would have to pay a penalty if we would leave the lawn in the state it was. We had let the grass die, in protest, when the water dep. suddenly sharply increased the water prices.
What were they thinking - that this was Beverly Hills?
My daughter's indignation added fuel to the fire. "This is the only city in the US where you get a ticket for parking the car on your own grass", she told her hubby. I have to admit that it is a dumb and random rule.

We didn't want the penalty, but also didn't want concrete or brick in our front yard. I always wanted a rock garden, but never got to actually do it. When we investigated what river rocks would cost for our tiny front yard, it would be 6K. Jikes, too much!
Fortunately, we have family living in an area where we could haul off the river rocks from people's yards for free (thanks to Craig's List and hubby's truck).

this is only step 2 - still a long way to go!

Since river rocks are very heavy, and we didn't want to make the 7 hour trip a few times, I made a design where we could use some river rocks and fill it up with little white rocks, and where the flowers would come, grey rocks.

Also, we concluded that it would be more economical and eco-friendly to have a little patch of grass.

Will it come together?

While we were working on it, everyone passing by looked, or had something to say. I overheard a friend saying to the son of our neighbor "That the most artsy yard of the neighborhood." That coming from a teen, I knew that it was a compliment!

Some people even asked if the pattern "meant" something. I was tempted to say that they were highly significant symbols of our family tree, or something of that nature, but then I would have to search for that person later on to fess up.

One year later...7 blooming rose bushes.
I am in heaven: a wealth of painting material!
Another time I'll post close ups of the roses. For now, I leave you to make some rose tea.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That looks great Jeannette!! I have always like gardens done with rock patterns like this. Then of course, rases have always been one of my favorites.

Gaston Studio said...

That is an awesome front yard Jeanette! You won't have to water as much and yet you've maintained some grass and have roses to boot. It's a wonderful design!!

TheWritersPorch said... looks wonderful!!!
I love the Roses like that, makes them really stand out!

~ carol `

Simply Heather said...

I love that you were able to create such beauty, by compromising and were able to keep your peace in the process. This is the way life should go. Look at the result, here? Gorgeous.

Job well done and I'd bet it was pretty fun in the doing :o)

Lydia Raquel Pistagnesi said...

¡Socorro amiga!
Tampoco se ingles pero igual te considero mi amiga

Lydia Raquel Pistagnesi

DUTA said...

Your lovely front yard is a signpost that reads: HERE LIVE CREATIVE PEOPLE.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Joan! when you get desperate, you'll have to think of something LOL Can't have enough roses!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Jane! Exactly, you got my intent! Because sometimes they do water rationing here. and roses will survive for a long time without water.

jeannette stgermain said...

thanks you are always so encouraging! It's the dark grey rocks that make the plants stand out - a fortunate benefit knowing from art how to lead the eye.

jeannette stgermain said...

You are right, it was so much fun doing this! But hubby did all the HARD work by tilling the ground, digging for the end ditch, renewing the sprinklers, carrying the 50 lb bags (the little white rocks!). I feel blessed I could keep my peace, because it's not a given!

jeannette stgermain said...

I clicked on Portugese on my translator widget and it does not work! - and I did sign in to the site! Sorry, after the weekend I have to find out what's going on.

jeannette stgermain said...

What a compliment - thank you!
You're not doing so bad youself, you know that you have a creative mind?

Dina said...

Wow, what a project. Wish I could come over and help you shlep a few rocks.
Jeannette, our mass was relatively small. Today the Pope did mass for 40,000, some say 60,000, in Nazareth.
The nuns and monks I saw were mostly local. Come back tomorrow to see some nice brothers.

jeannette stgermain said...

Wow, wow, wow! What masses of people! I have been told that on the biblical sites there are constant streams of people (also, not on holidays). I can tell you have fun documenting this event:)

lovelyprism said...

That's very nice. Growing up in Arizona, we had restrictions on water. Some people would go extreme with the rock and have no foliage at all. I always preferred a mix of rock and foliage. Plus, as you mentioned, you can get rock for free if you're willing to do the work. Good job.

neetzy said...

I love your new garden! It is extremely creative and attractive. Most of my yard is meadow and field grass. We live off of the main road, so no one cares how "manicured" it is. (except for my dad). I love the roses. My children gave me three rose bushes for mom's day. These are my first roses but are the knock-out variety which are supposed to be easy to grow! I hope so. I'm not a very good gardener.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you, it took some work, but we saved a lot of dollars this way!
Yes, it would be too bare for me to have only rocks LOL

jeannette stgermain said...

I don't have a green thumb either. I've killed several plants, but not roses, so you should be safe ther!
Remember, you commented on my mothersday post with my red rose painting that your kids had given you each a different color of rose (I asked in the post:what color is love...)

Scriptor Senex said...

Original and attractive - what more could one ask for?

jeannette stgermain said...

Thanks Scriptor! Well...let's see...I could ask for a back yard like this? Just kidding:)

Anonymous said...

It looks fabulous and the roses set the whole thing off beautifully.

Dick said...

Very nice and creative. Most people think that there is water enough in the Netherlands, yes salt water enough of course but sometimes in dry Summers it is critical.

Donna said...

Great look for the yard!! Thanks for the sweet comment!!! I Appreciate you!!hughugs

Sreddy Yen said...

Wow! Now that's something new...getting fined for parking on your own lawn? I love your new yard and I hope we could do something to ours...but our dogs would just mess it up again~!

By the way, I've just finished an oil painting of a butterfly yesterday. Please give me your comment on it. I will be posting photos of the painting on my blog during this week. :O)


Eleanor said...

I love your yard makeover and how you will enjoy your roses. I can't wait to see paintings of them. I love my rose garden and the bunches I pick weekly for house. I fact, I love roses on everything - porcelein, fabric, embroidery!

Maria said...

Funny combination of ZEN meets Eigenheim ? I would offer to shlepp some rocks, too :)
Happy weekend!

Catherine said...

Hi Jeannette what a lovely garden! Your gravel beds are great and you found a useful way round the bureaucracy. I thought you would be punished if you used water in dry times, and we don't have water charges here yet on domestic water, only farms and businesses. So there is a lot of waste I think, though we have lots of rain it is not stored as a resource that it could be. I like your protest at the authority's intransigence.
Take care, haven't been commenting much lately as it is very busy but I posted some nice photos of a trip last Sat. and of the conference I attended.
Regards, Catherine

The Muse said...

I like it!

Denise said...

Wow Jeannette, you did a great job of your garden. I remember in our old neighborhood in San Diego, there were plenty of people who used rocks in their garden, but none of them were as pretty as yours. Impressive!

Lillie said...

I just cannot image it in my head in the first pic until the last, and I went 'Wow' stunning!!!!

jeannette stgermain said...

About the roses - that was a happy combination:). Because they're my favortie flowers i did't even think about what would fit with the rocks and the gravel!

jeannette stgermain said...

so true:) And I don't think there are many people outside Holl. who know how expensive the water bills are for the Dutch people!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you Donna. Really hope that your next dentist visit will be less painful!

jeannette stgermain said...

Sreddy Yen,
Meanwhile I've heard we are not the only city that has that rule. I've been told the rule is "to keep the city nice."
Just came home from a 7-hour trip, so after I'll post my next blog, I have a look on yours, to see your butterfly:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, I really enjoy my roses now! Most days I have some in a vase on my living room table. I hope you'll post your roses sometime!

If you like to look at them, I already posted some paintings of my roses ( in the Celebrity Collection - Jan. 09) and in my post for Mothers Day this year.

jeannette stgermain said...

Maria, I'll have to go back to your blog later this week to remember why you refer to Zen and Eigenheim. Thanks for the offer to shclepp some rocks:) I should have known you then, because now all the work is done (I'm relieved it is done!)

jeannette stgermain said...

Cynthia (Muse),
Thanks so much! - also for visiting!

jeannette stgermain said...

Guess rock gardens are more common in dry hot areas? I think it's the roses that give the rocks a different mood than for instance cacti.

jeannette stgermain said...

You are so kind! It helped that I made a drawing of it (for my hubby since he did most of the hard work), and knew in my head how I wanted it to look like.

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, you got my drift! I never could work for city hall, I would develop heart problems LOL
Too bad that they don't store water in your country, and not in other rainy countries either, such as Holland, Scandinavic countries, etc. Here, in the US when they get desperate, one state may buy/borrow water from another state.
It's okay Catharine, I don't think anything of the frequency of comments as an indicator of some sort. I happen to have more time right now that I had before:)

Lynette said...

Jeannette, your rock garden with rose bushes turned out very stunning, just beautiful!

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you! It's good to let our creativity work when we are desperate for a solution, LOL