It has been over five months since my last post. Lots of things happened during this time; some related to art, some are not. I’ll share about a few of these happenings in my upcoming posts.

After spending six awesome weeks in Hungary with my family and friends, my daughter and I returned to the States in August. Since we had just moved into a new house before our trip, we continued unpacking, organizing and decorating. Her school year started pretty late, on September 10th, so we enjoyed a few mommy-daughter programs together in the last four weeks of her vacation.

OandSzMeanwhile, I was working on two projects: preparations for my brother and his wife’s visit from Hungary, and designing our backyard. Just a note about the first: people with limited English knowledge have a very hard time visiting this country. Have you ever imagined trying to drive on our roads without understanding what the signs say (in English)? Or being asked to initial your car rental papers, and you come from a country where initialing does not exist? I was glad that I could help my family a bit and make their time more enjoyable here. They did have a good time.

Bee on Lilac
Bee on Lilac

Now, the backyard. Until mid-last year we lived in a small town near Denver, CO. Although we did not have acres of land, we certainly had a comfortable sized backyard. One of my hobbies is gardening, and I loved having fruit trees, a vegetable garden and lots of flowers. Throughout the years of living there I planted about 400 flower bulbs in addition to the roses and other perennials. Every year I examined the backyard at different times of the year, and either removed or added plants where I felt they were needed. After a few years I reached the point, where my backyard was in constant bloom from early Spring until late Fall. I loved the whole process, the concept of a living and always changing backyard.

Then we moved to Southern California. This is a gorgeous place, with weather that couldn’t be better, and vegetation, that couldn’t be lusher all year round. The area we live in has much smaller lots and houses than where we came from, and our community is heavily regulated by a Home Owners’ Association. In order to finish our backyard, we had to submit a plan to the HOA, which had to be approved before starting the work. Most families in the neighborhood hire a landscaping company, and many backyards end up being very similar to each other (even if done by a different company). They are mostly hardscaped (pavers or concrete) with a narrow patch of vegetation alongside the fence (main purpose being to hide it).

Most people do not garden in this area, but I wanted to. Therefore, I spent weeks researching the plants that live in Southern California, chose some that we wanted to have, and compared my list to the allowed plant list from the HOA. (Yes, there is a list of plants that you may have in your backyard here.) Although this might sound like a boring process, I absolutely loved learning about new plants and new possibilities. Did I make my final plant choice, did I finish the backyard design and do we have a finished backyard? If you would like to know the answers to these questions, my next post will cover them all.