May – June Projects Gallery

Wedding Cake

We opted out of a wedding cake at our Kauai wedding five years ago since the ceremony was on a beach and the reception at a luau.  Recently, some friends gave me a hard time about this omission, because I make wedding cakes.  So, this year I said, “What the heck!”

Our Wedding Cake (5 years later)

Our Wedding Cake (5 years later!)


White cake with French chocolate buttercream, raspberry jam and raspberry filling (YUM!)


I started my lettuces on our deck in April, since I wasn’t sure when I would be able to contain the raised beds from Baxter, our dog, who will pee into extinction any unprotected plant (he killed a raspberry and blackberry bush, people – impossible!).  Em helped me plant these containers of butter crunch, arugula, and romaine and is faithful to water with her little watering can.

Tender baby lettuce

Tender baby lettuce


First harvest

First harvest

Pea Gravel Walkway, Rain Garden, and Raised Perennial Beds

I have been wanting a pea gravel walkway for some time now for the side yard and a patch of back yard where the grass will not grow due to the summer sun and foot traffic.  Rather than dig down into poor soil filled with roots, clay and tons of coal (our home is 100+  years old and the old coal chute was on that side of the house), I decided to build up.   In the process, we fixed the drainage problem of four downspouts carrying the soil away by burying them and directing the flow into the garden (i.e. a rain garden, another dream of mine to conserve rain water by preventing it from rushing down into the storm drains).  The garden area gets the most sun and will need irrigation over the yearly summer drought.  In the side yard on either side of the path, raised side beds (currently in soil development through composting of leaf mulch, grass clippings, compost, newspaper, etc.) will house native perennials watered via soaker hoses from our rain barrel.  And we will plant a non-GMO fruit tree or two for fruit as well as blocking the view to the neighbors’ deck and adding visual interest.  Maybe add a couple of blueberry bushes, too?  The less grass I have, the happier I will be.


Before:  Pea Gravel Walkway (new raised beds)

Before: Pea Gravel Walkway (new raised beds)


During:  Pea Gravel Walkway

During: Pea Gravel Walkway (resolving drainage issues, building raised beds along pathway)


During:  Pea Gravel Walkway

During: Pea Gravel Walkway (installing edging to hold in beds and gravel)


During:  Pea Gravel Walkway

During: Pea Gravel Walkway (edging installation and note the out spout for the gutters feeds into raised beds to contain water runoff)


After: Pea Gravel Walkway & Garden (seeds burst out 7 days after planting)


After:  Pea Gravel Walkway

After: Pea Gravel Walkway (we’ve removed 10 of the stepping stones since this shot was taken)



2 Replies to “May – June Projects Gallery”

  1. Ilana – you continue to amaze me with your creativity, vision, and determination! I’m glad you are part of the family.

    1. I wish I could sit still, so I try to be a good steward of what resources I do have. I will admit to being wiped for a week after moving 4 tons of pea gravel and 2 cubic yards of leaf mulch by myself 😉

What are your thoughts?