Tag Archives: california

Veena & Mani’s South Bay Garden Gem

Our friends Veena and Mani have a gorgeous home right here in the South Bay.  They moved into their new home a few years ago, and though their home went through a major renovation right before they moved in, the previous owners left the backyard untouched. Their landscape is huge. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a very large circular driveway at the entrance.

However this landscape was lacking in character.  It needed a personal touch, a gardener’s personal touch that is. And that is exactly what Veena and Mani did. Give this large expanse of a garden their own unique perspective. This massive re-landscaping of their outdoor space took more than a year to accomplish, and the end result is something spectacular.

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An Afternoon in Santa Cruz, California

We are so fortunate to be living so close to our favorite beach town of Santa Cruz, California; just a 20-minute drive on Hwy 17 over the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Santa Cruz has everything a beach town should have and more. First and foremost are what everyone goes to Santa Cruz for – the beaches.

Beautiful beaches line the Pacific Coast in Santa Cruz.

Panther Beach.

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“FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer

I’ve been to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California so many times that I’ve lost count. But somehow I’ve never visited the gardens in the summer. Hard to believe, even for me. I usually stop by Filoli Gardens in the spring for their Daffodil Daydreams Extravaganza, or in early summer around May for a Mother’s Day girls afternoon out, or to attend one of their classes on watercolor painting.

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I’ve never gone to Filoli Gardens in the peek of summer – i.e. July. I’ve assumed all the flowers are frying in the summer-time heat, so why bother going? But this year I had an opportunity to stop by this beautiful garden with my Uncle Chary and his niece Geetha and husband Sampath who were visiting from Mumbai, India.

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Who knew Filoli Gardens could be just as spectacular in the summer as at other times of the year?  At least not I.  The garden is amazing in the summer! Continue reading “FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer

Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

We have heard so much about this talked about restaurant here in the Bay Area  – Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  The restaurant is so popular that you have to plan at least a month in advance just to make a reservation, and cross your fingers and hope that you can get a reservation. On top of that, there are guidelines for when one can call to make that reservation; one has to wait for the exact day to the month when you want to go for dinner. This is what I did; I patiently waited to the exact day one month before Hitesh’s birthday to make dinner reservations for his special birthday celebration with the family.  I was fortunate enough to make reservations for the day that I requested! This is how we ended up going to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Was it worth the hype and the wait? YES, YES, YES. Continue reading Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

Swati & Tarak’s Italian Inspired Hillside Garden Retreat

Our friends Swati and Tarak have a beautiful home with an amazing Italian inspired hillside garden right here in the South Bay. This graceful terraced back yard is a wonderful representation of how you can transform a steep hill into a lovely lush green landscape filled with flowers, greenery, trees, and a fruit orchard.

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Continue reading Swati & Tarak’s Italian Inspired Hillside Garden Retreat

Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California

When was the last time you stopped by a plant nursery with soft classical music playing in the background? A nursery where during the holidays there is hot apple cider waiting to be sipped by their customers. A nursery that is more of an experience than a functional errand to purchase some plants. Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California is one of those places which is a destination rather than just a plant nursery where one goes to, to just buy a few garden plants.

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Succulents

Aaah succulents…  For years I never gave them a second look. I was too spellbound by flowering plants to bother with succulents. They were just green looking plants, what’s so special about these? I thought.

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And then a serious drought hit California a few years ago. Drought resistant plants and all types of low-water requiring plants were available at the nurseries, and guess what?  I kept seeing more and more succulents as an option for drought tolerant plants for our gardens. Gardening magazines were enticing gardeners with succulent gardens.

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I started seeing succulents in beautiful floral arrangements and in gorgeous potted plant ensembles. Succulents were getting their just dues, they were being spotlighted everywhere. I had to pay attention now. They were looking pretty darn good, now that they were being used in lovely creative ways. I got intrigued. I started giving them a second glance. Continue reading Succulents

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden. Old Palo Alto, California

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is a historic home and garden located in old Palo Alto, California. The story of how this lovely home became a historic home and garden can be credited to Ms. Elizabeth Gamble who lived in Palo Alto with her family.

Elizabeth’s family – the Gamble family moved to Palo Alto back in 1902 and had four children:  James, George, Elizabeth Frances, and Launcelot.  Palo Alto at that time was a little town with a population of a mere 3000.  One of the kids Elizabeth, decided after college to spend the remainder of her life in the Gamble family home on Waverley Street in Palo Alto.

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Lemonade Syrup

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.🍋🍋

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I got a bunch of lemons from Elaine whom I met through my other friend Rose. Elaine had buckets and buckets of lemons – literally buckets of lemons to give away. I met Elaine recently to pick up over 200 lemons – did I count them?  Yes! In fact I counted 275 lemons to be exact. Continue reading Lemonade Syrup