Saturday, April 03, 2010

On Foot in San Diego: Louie and Kathi's Hidden Garden

Ocean Beach is a great place to take out of town guests, and last weekend with Jennifer and grandbaby Isabella visiting we all went down to check out the pier, Hodad's, and a spot I heard about on Noah Tofolla's KPBS Wonderland show - Louie and Kathi's Hidden Garden.

Louie and Kathi Williams bought this little place a few years ago, leveled the front and back yards and created gardens to rival those of Majorelle and the Encinitas Meditation Gardens. Where Jardin Majorelle has the elegance and sophistication of Yves St. Laurent and the Meditation gardens the serenity of the yogi, the Hidden Gardens are like comfort food. The xeriscaped front yard is whimsical and just a taste of what is to come.

So tempting for little fingers -

A sign directs visitors down a walk to the back yard,

to the Hidden Garden and a whole world of botanical and antiquey things opens up. Be prepared for a "wow!" moment.

This private garden is open and free to the public, although I did spot a little pot tucked into the garden where visitors were leaving donations.

There are little spots to sit and relax. The glass in the windows hung on the fence have been replaced with mirrors. Where do these guys get these ideas?

A second house sits in the back yard, hung with old things - Louie is a retired antiques dealer - and I think this is where Louie and Kathi live, and that a tenant lives in the front blue house. I imagined they get to peer out their windows and watch the visitors' delight.

A fantastical windmill, and the back of a garage has been hung with a faux door, window, house number and mailbox making it look like another little cottage.

Jennifer checked out a pretty healthy tomato plant. Mine are still sitting in their pots from the nursery.

More great stuff down this side yard,

artwork on the walls that reminds me of what Patty does inside her house. You never know what you'll find hanging on her walls when you visit, chairs, old dresses, even a tie from a young Turkish guy in Istanbul who closed up his rug shop and took us out for a night on the town. Don't ask how she got the tie, that's a story for another time. Yesterday she was painting the hanging light fixtures. Some brains are just different from the rest of us.

Fanciful surprises are tucked into the landscape.

a wee bird's nest resting on top of driftwood,

buried pots and pitchforks as art.

and my favorite, this metal bed and praying child.

Thank you Louie and Kathi for creating and sharing your Hidden Garden.

I'll be back. Now off to spiff up my own yard with new inspiration.