Before & After: Plain Patio to Secret Garden

Before & After: Plain Patio to Secret Garden

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Tara Bellucci
Jul 4, 2015
(Image credit: Danielle)

When Danielle's side yard was about to be paved over by management, she saved as many plants as she could. She then looked to her apartment's small, enclosed patio, transforming it into an outdoor oasis:

(Image credit: Danielle)

From Danielle:

My husband and I are renters and live in Pasadena, California in a small bungalow built in 1924. Last Summer, our landlord left a note on our door stating that renovation work was to be done on our rental property. Devastatingly, the work included paving over my side garden which I had been 3 years in the making. The letter stated that anything left in my side garden would be “disposed of by the crew”. I was heartbroken.

While the majority of my plants and flowers are in containers, I had no place to store them while the work was being done, which meant much of it was going to be sacrificed. My husband and I only had 2 days to clear the side area and salvage what we could.

So that Saturday morning we woke up at 5:30 am to begin, "Project Save the Garden". From there I salvaged as much as I could in pots and dug up some of the plants in the herb bed. It was a full day's work in the hot sun, but we were determined to get the job done.

After setting aside everything I had salvaged and deciding on what to keep and what to sacrifice, the only question left was... Where was I going to put everything????

I asked my husband about our small outdoor patio which you can only enter through the living room. It is completely private and for the past 2 years, we hadn't used it for anything other then a storage space for some of his old work things. Since he hadn't used any of it for the past 2 years, he graciously offered to clean out the space so that I could have a new area to put what was left of my garden.

After a little hard work, imagination and determination, I now have a Secret Garden. Losing the side garden wasn't a complete loss after all. Yes, I did have to sacrifice quite a lot, but gardening is my passion and where there's a will there's a way. I love my new space. Waking up to it the morning after felt like Christmas! I can even go look at it in my pajamas! I love the fact that it is private, and no one will ever even know it's there. I was able to accommodate over 60 plants, herbs and flowers.

Gardening in a smaller space is a challenge, but it was well worth the effort to make this workspace patio into a beautiful secret garden.

For more photos, check out The Magic Garden.

Thank you Danielle!

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