Sunday, October 9, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

This is nod to Suz over at A Garden Wench.  I absolutely love her profile pic.  So today's post is dedicated to someone who makes me smile when I read her work. PS. This is a difficult pose.  We spent a bit of time trying to get this head angle right.  And now that I look at it, my hand needs to be lower.  Oh well, Suz pulls it off way better. And yes, lately I've been wearing my glasses a lot more. 
Several of the El Presidio posts have been delayed due to work around the property.  This post today is actually a very expensive one....but worth all the money.  Pete, our landscape designer, for the courtyard wrote up our plan that you're going to see below.  I'm going to go through that process with you in case you ever think about doing this at your own place.  Plus the El Presidio Homeowners can get an insight on what's going on with our ugly courtyard right now!  But first, I'd just like to thank all my blogging friends for their kind words and pieces of wisdom.  If a post comes along and fits with your particular theme, I'll make a nod to you through one of your signature moves.  And if you don't think you express yourself any different from the "other bloggers" out there, you are absolutely wrong!!  I admire you for your dedication, words of wisdom and knowledge and if it wasn't for you, I'd be writing to empty space.  Thank you all.
Stress.  Our property this year has given me nothing but headaches.  You may have noticed a lack of writing on the gardens because there were times, I wanted to scream.  Instead I left the country and traveled over my summer break.  We took out our pool in the courtyard and it is very very ugly.  Plus with the freeze killing several of the plants and a major planter project that happened over spring, we were overbudget and eager to save money.  The homeowners voted the pool shutdown and has since saved money to repair our courtyard area.  This has been a slow process especially when many of the homeowners don't even live here.  It makes things difficult.  The courtyard is a fantastic place but needs work.  It was time to call in professional help.  Everything else around the property is really coming along nicely, but with a major change like the pool shutting down, this was something homeowners have to fix together. I am not a landscape designer NOR am I qualified to make a decision for 16 homeowners. Some had wanted me to do this, but it ain't going to happen:) A homeowner would eventually request an official plan for the courtyard and that got the ball rolling.  The idea was put in front of the board and voted on as a "yes".  Money was allotted for the hire and over the course of a month, I would have to choose between two certified landscape designers. 
The decision took some time, but it came from the designer making time to see me right away and being on open to many many homeowner ideas.  From the minute we met, I felt relaxed and happy.  I know things will get better having a professional create some magic design for our courtyard. Some of you may be asking, "What happened to the other designer?"  He was really nice to speak with on the phone, but we played phone tag often and I got the sense he was an extremely busy individual. For me, it came down to several factors.  Do they know what they're doing?  Are they open to ideas?  Are they punctual? And of course....cost.  I received a quote for 200 dollars from Pete.  He came several weeks ago to do a base chart of the property and took hours worth of measurements.  That chart is above.  The design followed with the input from other homeowners. Some wanted grass, others color from annuals, some a water feature......but what was interesting to note is that the homeowners wanted that center space open.  So it shall be.  As we begin the process of adding things to this central area, I'll be updating people with info and pics.  As a homeowner, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders even though our courtyard is still an eyesore:) Well at least there's a plan now:) The question is, "Homeowners will you take the initiative to fix it up, please?  I'm willing."


  1. You're asking people to take initiaitive? I've seen people throw trash near a garbage can, miss the can, and then not take the initiative to bend down and pick it up. I wanted to smack them!! Repeatedly! Maybe if they see how beautiful the new space is, they'll be invested enough personally to help care for it. Or give them a comparison chart showing their expected time investement as compared to the cost of hiring someone to do it and adding it to their HOA fees. Maybe they'll hire you as the groundskeeper!

  2. I like the photo and nod to A Garden Wench. You prompted me to check out her blog!

    Those plans look very thorough. Sounds like you found a good match on the contractor. Sometimes, it's all about clicking with the right person. I hate playing phone tag with contractors too.

  3. you need to rest your chin on your glorious jack Benny :)
    who didn't love Jack Benny?
    thanks for making my day
    you look cute to me...and wise of course

  4. LOL! Jack Benny was extremely funny. I don't know why....all I know is that I watched him with my Grandpa. Good ol' bonding time. Hope you had a good weekend!


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