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Now Up

June 2, 2012

Big up

This colorful — and very vertical — backdrop for two of my favorite chairs used to be a total lay-down …


… now, however, it’s playing back-up for our lounge area. Although a new feature in this part of the garden, it’s actually been here since we moved in.


See, it used to be the fence-like horizontal divider between the house and the separate structure that is my office and the garages. After we moved in, I decided its original faded red/brown needed punching up, so I selectively painted parts of it, including a gate. I used saturated, deep colors; sometimes overlaying several on one board. I then added the top color using a dry brush technique; this accentuated the wood’s grain by allowing the base color to show through. Dressed in various ways through the years, the divider served as backdrop some of my favorite vignettes of junk and succulents (click here and here).


It’s pretty rough, befitting something that’s been hanging around the Rancho since the 1950s … but that’s why I like it so much. My brother-in-law, José, did this job for me and it’s exactly right … I had him dismantle the original divider and re-install it vertically behind the lounge, minus the former one-in-front, one-behind, board presentation; I wanted a flat face toward the pad. I also asked him to mix up the board’s colors and he did a great job. I love the randomness of the mix; even the addition of some sanded and unpainted boards as filler looks great. I’m also excited about the reverse of the wall and have plans to use the uprights and bracing boards as some kind of sculptural display. Bonuses: Removing the divider between the house and office has opened up tons of space for an outdoor dining area (my original planned purpose for the new concrete pad). In its new position, the wall’s backside creates a small space between it and our property’s fence I can use for another small chill-out spot.

. . . . .

My brief for this project was to create a wall on which I could paint a mural, but now that it’s up I’m in no hurry … It’s not that my head isn’t swimming with mural ideas, I’m just loving it as it is.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2012 4:46 pm

    Love it! Jose did a great job. Hey, let me know if you want those concave egg chairs of mine? They might work in your lounge area. My price? Help me with my backyard sometime!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 2, 2012 4:47 pm

      Hmmm… Sounds like good deal! … can you email a pic and refresh my memory?

  2. RUTH permalink
    June 2, 2012 5:19 pm

    Wait a second–trade for time? Reuben! I will hook you up!!!! Come on over for some bbq and garden fun!

  3. June 2, 2012 5:20 pm

    I’m really enjoying the transformations taking place in your garden and home!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 2, 2012 5:23 pm

      Thanks, Loree … now that I’m finally gathering steam I am too!

  4. carol permalink
    June 3, 2012 4:28 am

    Totally Fabulous! Love the colors!

  5. June 3, 2012 4:03 pm

    Beautiful! I loooove stripes!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 3, 2012 7:07 pm

      Me, too … thanks for reading and commenting, Bria!

  6. June 5, 2012 6:50 am

    love the boards. When are you publishing your garden design book?!

  7. June 5, 2012 11:57 am

    As usual, I’m late to the party… but regardless of when I get here, I am always so surprised and happy with what I see. This is awesome Reuben. I can’t wait to see it in person.


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