Sometimes, when life gives you lemons, your brain makes lemonade.
Lately I’ve been dreaming of my Butterfly Tiny Ranch, my goal I’ve had since college to reduce my carbon footprint and feel like I could maintain a piece of land.
I don’t think I’ve asked too much from life when it comes to material possessions. At the same time I’m also the type of gal who likes to daydream and when all my little dreams I’ve had since childhood collide into one solid, beautiful picture, I get so lost in the idea I can’t sleep at night.
There are two things I’ve always wanted: a tiny house on some land and a bunch of dogs. A refuge away from the world where I could have snuggles, nature, and grow my own things from the earth.
By tiny house, I mean more like a tiny cottage – blue and white with wooden shutters, all on one level, with a Japanese soaking tub. It would be elegant and old-timey, like an 1800s guest house.
It would be just enough space for me and to entertain one person. That’s all I’ve ever needed anyway.
The land would have an elaborate rose garden with a brick walkway going through, followed by a vegetable garden, then an apothecary garden.
And then… there would be DOGS!
The supreme queen would be my dog of nine years, followed by a pack of Pomeranians and papillons, my two favorite dog breeds. I would have a dog wash station by the side of the house. A mobile dog groomer would come to pamper my pups.
Yesterday, my family helped my husband and I build a pergola. It’s beautiful, and I only have a few awkward photos, most of which involve the garbage can. It’s red cedar, and small like our little misshapen patch of concrete.
My husband labored over the perfect pergola plans for months. I mean months, ever since we bought the house in November. His grand scheme for the yard is finally beginning to come to fruition. I was getting so annoyed with his obsession over the pergola that I would refuse to look at his pergola design books and his drawings. As an engineer, he knew how to build things. And build something, he did!
A few years ago my parents thrifted the patio furniture for my first grown up apartment. It’s a pretty Parisienne set, at least to an American. Bear and I intend to have a Provencal Potager garden. My father lived in France for some time and I always wanted to visit. So Bear is bringing the French countryside to our backyard.
We will have two rose teuteurs (French trellises) in our tiny garden, as well as two raised vegetable beds made out of red cedar fence pickets so I can have easy access to the garden. In the photo you can see the accessible herb garden, and there will be another on the left side past where we are growing a lemon verbena and a moon garden.
Our backyard is the smallest we’ve ever had, but I wanted it that way. I wanted it to be low maintenance, low stress. But my husband is a civil engineer and knows how to plan spaces. I’m pretty excited about the garden. Does that make me old?