Before & After: A Finished Back Garden.

Yes. My house is officially done. Many people have asked for an update with pictures. In a couple of months, I will invite the professional photographer back out to shoot the "after" photos. And I will start to build a professional version of the transformation of this space.

But I wanted to start, now, by sharing the Before & After photos of the back patio garden.

This is a very precious space to me because the Sunshine and warmth are one of the main reasons I moved to Southern California. And I chose the house here in Encinitas because of its size, light, layout potential... And this back patio garden...


It has a nice hill that provides some additional privacy. But the previous owner had planted some palm trees and other tropical plants that were (in my opinion) ugly and a waste of water.


They were also a waste of space.


Sure, the back of the house tends to lack curb appeal. But I had in my vision space a lovely and spacious sanctuary for meditation, appropriate naturescapes, and intimate conversations with friends.


My HOA is now in the process of painting my place. So it will be improved even further in look, cleaning up the dry rot and faded paint on the outside.


This space was one of the first to get mostly finished by the renovation team.


A panoramic shot of the space!

One of the first things that had to go was all of the water-sucking plants. This is California. We're in a drought.  I wanted low-water/barely-need water plants. And I thought I'd have to go with succulents. But my contractor (who is amazing) had another recommendation for me.

Creeping Rosemary, French Lavender, and Mountain Sage.



All are very low-water plants. And he said that with all the rain we've had in the past few weeks, I probably wouldn't need to water them for a few months.

After changing out the cement pavers covering the patio (and recycling the tropical plants and palms), he covered the space with the blue slate stones I had picked out, and built two natural wood flower bed boxes.


They planted the herbs a few months ago.  And they were small. But the rain has really boosted them in the past few weeks...


My Creeping Rosemary is swirling in abundance... And the Rosemary and Lavender have purple buds on them now. Combined with the Sage, the garden smells lovely. And they're not even that big in size yet!

I can't wait to see bumblebees buzzing around the space come Summer. Very charming and good for them.

There are a few things I will be adding, in term of furniture.


I moved the chairs over to the side, and intend to put a portable fire pit (for burning wood) by them.

And I will eventually move this couch to the front private patio I have...


And I am going to replace it here in the back with a large outdoor daybed.

The reason being that I have discovered I had a gorgeous view of the night sky from my patio. This week's full moon was magical to look up at from the space. So why not have a piece of furniture that I can lie down on and stare up at the sky from?


I'm loving the yoga platform space. I intend to add big square Moroccan style pillows on it... Just as soon as I can find some.

And the space wouldn't be very "Heather Molina" without my trio...


I scored these at a garden store here in Encinitas, right on the Coast Highway. I have so many of the "Three Wise (Monkeys)" in my collection now. I needed some for outside!

And there's one of the most magical things of all...


My Turkish chandelier from Istanbul. Repurposed for outside. Gorgeous at night, all lit up...



It may not seem like too much of a dramatic change. But I can definitely feel it.