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Concept is hard to visualize.  It can be anything and nothing all at the same time.  Without concepts, we can work, and play, but we can’t do it sustainably effectively or with passion.  Most of the time we think of concepts in terms of what is.  A dog is an animal with specific characteristics.  Addition is a concept of combining groups.  Liberty and freedom are concepts that is not so easily illustrated.  Which brings me to the point of my exploration.  Not all concepts are immediately visible and easy to explain, but they existed in the mind of the inventor before they ever became a concept the rest of the world could use:  the light bulb, the wheel, the internet.

water-dragon-poster1My husband conceptualizes space much better than I do.  When we bought our house 11 years ago, is was a mess.  There was a short driveway right up against the side of the house, and everything else was weeds.  Several years later it was still somewhat a mess, but V. always carried a concept of what he wanted in both the back and front yard.

SFW Concept - landscaping 2

This may look like grass, but we (hahaha) watered AND MOWED our weeds.  The back yard started with three dying orange trees and an overgrown garden with bricks running through it where the brown patch of dirt is.  He began right away removing the trees and the garden, piled the bricks from the lopsided paths, tore down the grape stem fence around the perimeter of  the garden.  I couldn’t see doing it.  I thought I’d putter in the garden, and clean it up a bit.   However, rattlesnakes hang out here in the summer, so every high weed could have a snake lurking under it.  V didn’t like that concept.

Concept - Landscaping1

You can still see where the three orange trees had been. The tractor helped us keep down the weeds.

V. wanted to put in a pool.  So he laid out his concept with a hose so that I could visualize it.  He left it there, and would change its shape from time to time.  He walked the pool guys out to show them the concept when they came to talk to us. Our neighbor ordered EXACTLY the same V-designed pool from Tahiti Pools after they shared V’s concept with him.  Maybe you can see a pool here better than I did at the time.  I was all in favor of putting in a pool.   Below you see the same exact area.

concept landscaping 9

Concept - landscaping 4

The picture was my present to him – my concept of his favorite things.  What I conceived I was able to do, but he wasn’t!  haha

concept house and car mergeimg copy

He wanted to landscape the front as well.  We explored the grounds of one of the Central Coastal Wineries to check out their concept of landscaping with grass paths.  He adapted the concept of grass pathways with growing something pretty in each framed area.  He mapped it out his concepts for me using Microsoft Publisher.  He took me out to the yard and walked me around where all the changes would be made.  He didn’t ask for much input from me.  He constantly talked about his concept because he didn’t think I understood it well enough, and it was a huge investment of time and money.  He wanted me enthused about it.

SFW Concept Landscaping 3

He got his pathway all laid out in stone. All the stones in the yard were part of his master concept.

You can see the basic paths.  Then he slowly filled them in.

Challenge landscaping 6 concept - landscaping 5

This porch and landscaped flower area had been the location of the narrow driveway when we moved in.  V made it beautiful.

concept landscaping 11

It’s interesting about concepts.  They motivate people.  If you grasp the concept, you can communicate it.  V would talk to me daily about his concepts.  Soon I was able to see it, and support them, and add my two cents once in a while.   Even now I am amazed that it is as beautiful as it turned out to be.   Concepts and living your dreams – the next challenge of Jakesprinter are very much connected in my mind.  The concepts that V could communicate – his dreams – allowed us to live his dreams.

Watch his concept unfurl.

Watch his concept unfurl.

concept landscaping 13

Motivate by concepts.

Motivate by concepts.

For more concept ideas click here.

Featured Blog

Yesterday received a comment from Amy that read, “Hi Marsha, You might enjoy reading this post Re-blog Susan’s post…”  I adore and trust Amy, and was touched that she knows me well enough to refer me to another blog.  So I went there immediately and found Susan, another kindred spirit.  So Susie AKA Coming East is my Featured Blog for the day.

Here’s a wonderful picture of her from the newspaper when she stood in line at the opening of Whole Foods.  I’ll tell you what it is that attracts me to Susie.  It’s her dry British-ancestry sense of humor.  She doesn’t need pictures like I do to prime her pump, but she does tell down-home stories.  She does take beautiful pictures, though if you read her Challenge posts.  If you like me, you’ll love her.  I pressed the follow button before I even finished the first article.  I’ve gone back tonight to “camp out” like Russel Ray.  (It’s after 12:00 a.m here and I can now surf for free.  My husband is monitoring my internet use now since we used up last month’s allotment in 2 weeks.)

So visit Susie, then YOU tell me if I wasn’t right about her.

44 replies »

  1. Oh, my … your home is beautiful!!!!! It looks like a resort! I’d never leave. 🙂 Except for the rattlesnake part. Considering that, I might not wander the property too much…. 🙂 I am not a friend of snakes. No experience with them, don’t understand them, don’t really want to know them. The biggest beasts in my backyard are bunnies. 🙂


    • hahaha bunnies can be a problem. Thanks for the compliment. I’ll pass it on. I haven’t seen too many rattlers since we moved here. One the cat had it’s eye on which alerted us, and that’s the only one I can remember except a dead one or two in the street. A friend did get bit on their property – after the snake was dead, and he was throwing it away. No lasting harm done, but he did have to go to the hospital. Yikes!!! 🙂


    • hahaha That would have been fine for me. When it’s 115 degrees, I just need to get wet! Not only did he design such a beautiful pool, he put a solar heating system on it so that it stays warm – in the summer, and believe it or not, I still like warm water when the temp’s hot outside. We enjoy it after the sun is setting in the twilight. Thanks for the comment. I’m going to have to get back over to your blog and listen to what new things you have posted. You put me in such a Christmas spirit, and I need to get my Christmas correspondence done before it’s past Christmas!!! 🙂


  2. Now that’s my concept of an Extreme Makeover! Well done! And, oh, my gosh, thank you for mentioning my humble blog! I’m honored. I just found out that my post about C is going to be featured in Freshly Pressed in the next few days. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.


  3. Lovely concepts post, Marsha. My husband has always been great at seeing the possibilities for every home we’ve lived in, and sometimes has even had to bribe me with goodies to even let him buy the place. 🙂 Your home looks really beautiful., and your cat obviously loves living there. 🙂


    • Your husband bribes, too! My husband gets this cute smile and is full of compliments. If that doesn’t work THEN the bribes come out. If THAT doesn’t work, he waits a while to think of a new angle, and goes back to cute smiles followed by reasoning, and another walk through the park-to-be. He’s a hard sell to resist! Trouble is that MOST of the time his conceptual eye is pretty accurate!! I do love our home, and he does something new on it every year. He hibernates in the winter.

      I loved your concept post – it was actually my inspiration for tackling this challenge. 🙂


  4. Thank you so much for the acknowledgement! I’m flattered…
    Your post for the concept is so cool, Marsha. Love it! Have a great weekend. 🙂


  5. Hi Marsha. You are very lucky to have a V, and wise to give your V a free rein to actuate his concept. Creating his dream from nothing takes time, a lot of mess and work but the end result will look fabulous. But it will be never ending, a tweak here, a new idea there. I am sure that he is really happy with what he is doing to enhance your property and to please you. Give him a big hug. Ralph x


    • Yes I am lucky – he’s a clever guy, and no, I’m not giving him free rein totally. Sorry V. I love the word actuate. That’s V all right He’s an actuator. Thanks for the nice compliment Ralph!

      See why I couldn’t even pretend to urge you to buy Quirky? You are not even seeing 1/100 the of the work that has gone into our palace. That’s why we are both so attached to it! V doesn’t want the house online. It’s still a simple little house, but we did all the work. Yes, I tore down walls, painted, cleaned, paid the bills, kept the other house in market ready condition, kept the poor man organized and fed, lived in a house with one finished room, and helped pick colors, lights, floors, etc while working 60 hours a week. WE kept the neighbors entertained with our constant squabbles. Happily that was 11 years ago. I’ll NEVER let him do it again!

      Quirky would have been the demise of you!!! 🙂


  6. What a wonderful home and garden, and so much space around…. no neighbours? well I guess no close neighbours. I could do with a husband like yours…. only joking… the only thing I wouldn’t like are the snakes … thing I am a bit afraid of really. You are truly blessed wiht a wonderful husand and a wonderful home!


    • Thanks, I am, and I haven’t seen any of the snakes. The one the cats saw was disposed of before I saw it. We do have neighbors. We only have an acre, and most of them have about 2.5 acres. We are a pretty close neighborhood. I’m very fortunate, indeed. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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