I Want to Make You Jealous . . .

paintflowersBecause I want you to feel this happy.

This was in my lap as I sat on my swing last evening. I am doing new illustrations for my Cre8it Home page (again!)

If I looked down to my right . . .

skysleepMy girl Sky, who is feeling great again after hurting her back last week. She had a bad landing from one of her amazing leaps into the sky (from which she got her name).

Huskies are not normally jumpers. But, since she was a puppy, this one leaps about three feet straight up when she is excited. I would make a video, but I discourage her from doing it. Someday, she might land wrong and pull something.

Well, she did that last Monday, and we babied her all week until she felt normal again. I’m still not taking my eyes off her. which is easy since she is velcro-ed to me, it seems.

And if I looked left . . .

sidetableTwo of the beautiful Begonias from AJ’s Nursery in Durango – and my favorite Chardonnay (Woodbridge by Mondavi). Not expensive, just light and delicious.

And if I looked straight ahead . . .

garden6-9I am so filled with gratitude because who could ask for more?

This little piece of paradise does so many things – it soothes my soul, makes me feel the spirit in Nature, overwhelms me with beauty, and totally inspires my art.

I work myself to pieces reestablishing this space every year, but it occurs to me, when I see and ponder the elements, that anyone could make themselves a little space like this – a tiny piece of heaven.

Here’s a little story.

A few years back, my brother lived in a high rise in Houston called Bayou Bend. It was a pretty ritzy place with doormen and all that (they always got a kick out of me and my flip flops), and very beautiful.

But, each condo had only a postage stamp size balcony. My brother never went out there, but there was a small chair and table set and a dead plant.

As beautiful as the building and the condo were, it lacked something essential to anyone with a soul because there was zero connection to Nature.

I couldn’t stand it and I sat out there with my coffee each morning. Eventually, he joined me. The view was beautiful – overlooking Memorial Park and the green of the bayou.

“We need to do something with this,” we both agreed.

It only took a day, some beautiful plants in two containers, cushions to make the chairs comfy, and a small fountain.

Combined with the beautiful view, we had turned a concrete ledge into a little piece of heaven where he could meditate and soothe the stresses of his high powered executive days.

This soon convinced him to sell the condo, by the way, and move to a beautiful home on the bayou with a BIG yard.

The point of this story is that no matter what your circumstances, there is probably some small spot that you can turn into your sacred nature space.

It does not cost much and you do not have to be a gardener.

Here’s all you need:

A comfy outdoor chair, and a little side table for your wine, tea, or art supplies.

As many containers as you can fit, filled with annuals from the nursery, or from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Your pots do not have to be expensive or large. Plain terra cotta pots are beautiful with greenery and flowers.

Gardening skills needed:

Pour in some potting soil, dampen with water, and set the plants in it.

Pour water from a pitcher or pretty watering can into your containers as often as necessary. This is part of the lovely ritual of being in your Nature sanctuary.

Cut off dead flowers, so your plants will keep on flowering. Use some cute little scissors that you keep right there with your pretty watering can.

Your water feature:

I know of an instant fountain that sounds great and looks great.

All you need is a bowl big enough to hold 1-1/2 inches of water and the pump below. A birdbath works perfectly, but any container will do.

You don;t need to go hunt up the right pump and rocks, because they come all in one, and look like this . . .


This is how it looks out of the box.

Here’s a shot of one of mine with a little patina from use. I have this one in one of those plastic pot saucers.

rockwaterfallThe sound is wonderful and attracts birds.

You do need an electric outlet, but it uses only about 4 watts of electricity. There is a solar version available, but it is three times as expensive. Figure out some extension cord trick instead. I even put one out a window once.

Amazon has this fountain for $38 and change with Prime free shipping.

However, when searching for the best price online, I discovered a Lowes company I had never heard of – which carries *everything* at great prices and with free shipping. Their cost is only $32 and change.

Layered Rock Waterfall at ATG Stores.com

You could also add a Hummingbird feeder and/or use Hummingbird-friendly flowers. (Remember, never use commercial red dye Hummingbird food – make your own instead – 1 part sugar to 4 parts very warm water. Stir to dissolve and allow to cool.)

So, for very little money and time, you could have a magical outdoor space that calms you, inspires you (draw some of your flowers – and their leaves and buds etc.) and connects you to the nurturing power of Nature.

Try it. It’s the kind of thing that grows on you (so to speak) and you may find yourself expanding your sanctuary as the Summer goes on.

Sorry I can’t figure out how to share my view of the Rockies or my dog. I would if I could.

23 thoughts on “I Want to Make You Jealous . . .

  1. Donna

    Thank you for that wonderful suggestion. I am going to move to a little place that only has a lawn. I will have pots with colourful flowers but would love a water feature. As I am partially disabled so I think this yard will be quite easy for me to take care of. And I could make that water container myself. Now to see if I can find it in Canada, maybe Canadian Tire or Wal- mart. Enjoy the moment.

  2. Margaret Hadden

    Thank you for this posting. Reminds us that not everything has to be grandiose, and that beauty can come in very small doses. All best wishes-

  3. Deb Sims

    Not jealous–inspired to make a corner of my pool deck into a mini oasis! No mountain views in Florida, but it’s home!

  4. Lynn

    Thanks for this, Jessica! It’s exactly what I need to do.
    My tiny patio will be beautiful with just a couple of plants and maybe a small grill. I do so enjoy my meditative mornings out there with my coffee.

  5. CC

    Hi, Jessica! So you must be in CO! I’m in NM now…so we’re neighbors with different mountains to look at! Love your post and will see if my DH can help me set up a space. I’m ill, so it will have to have LOTS of cushions! And hopefully cooler weather! HAHA!! Can’t wait to see your new site pics! Brightest blessings!

  6. Susun

    Such a lovely post, Jessica. And, as often happens when I read your blog, I was just at Bayou Bend on one of those tiny balconies ( though I love small, intimate spaces) and my friend had just been to the nursery to spruce up her pots. She definitely needs the fountain ( and so do I on my balcony at home!) Glad your Sky is recovering. Such a beautiful animal. And yes, you are blessed!!

  7. Dora

    Love your little piece of paradise! Thanks for sharing. Due to severe allergies and photophobia from medications, I cannot be outside for very long at a time. I am surrounded by a lot of green space, trees, and blooming plants that give me pleasure from a one removed experience. Probably not as satisfying as your experience but it does meet my needs.

  8. Ann

    Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful idea to my attention.
    It will make all the difference in the world to have a small water fountain on my patio.

    I have always wanted one, but thought they were too costly for my budget. You have made a wish come ture.

    Thank you!


  9. jessica

    Hi CC – I’m more of a neighbor than you think. I am in Santa Fe, NM and those are the Sangre de Cristos, which are part of the Southern Rockies.

  10. Diana in Texas

    Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your wonderful sweet spot with us. I know how great it is to have that one place to sit and meditate / ponder / think and appreciate the beautiful scenery and flowers. We all need that place to unwind. Yours is beautiful.

  11. Alcina Nolley

    I just spent two weeks away from home. One week visiting my brother in law who lives in a condo without a balcony. The other week was in a home that was over air conditioned. I was all too glad to return to my piece of paradise, but find it in the grip of a drought. My piece of paradise is all dried up and brown. Just hope that when the rain does come it’s not in the form of a hurricane. Greetings from St. Lucia.

  12. Katerina

    Thank you for beautiful post!
    Can you name box with watercolor on first photo for me, please?

  13. Izzy (deb) cleary from AZ

    Jessica, you have an energetically healing and inspiring space. What beauty! Thank you for sharing. It looks to be a garden area that is frequented by the faerie folk and plant divas.

    I have always felt the need to set altars around my home/art space/patio to honor life, nature/nature divas, and give gratitude for my blessings small and large. It is part of the appreciation I feel for the beauty around me.

    In my studio I have a small fountain with flowing water that allows the muses to “flow inspiring images as I draw. Flowers/plants speak of the essence of vibrant life and beauty. I have a gold statue of “Yoga Frog” who assists me to remember to be limber in my attitude and application, and a number of crystal/mineral stone chanting malas to connect in with the earth… <3

  14. CC

    No way! I knew you gave workshops there, but didn’t know you lived there! Isn’t the land of enchantment incredible? We look at the Sandias!

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    You could certainly see your expertise within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” by Napoleon.

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