Making Descansos

Labour of Love


I do remember that the vestibule area did have a romantic feel to it. But the reality was that the slippery, tiled floor sloped down to a derelict back door and the walls had been painted green, with poor quality gold leaf work on borders. It was not particularly functional.

Today the vestibule is the hub of the Soul Food Cafe – my office area.

It has shocked me to look back at Darryl’s slides and see just how much physical work was required to clean up what was a derelict backyard. His back breaking work involved removing debris, bricks and relaying bricks carefully in an intricate design. It was a mammoth effort.


Today this is the back yard.


A porch now shelters the back of the house and is filled with greenery.




8 Comments so far
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Like a sanctuary. Darryl’s vision must have been great to transform the house and yard as he did. I envy your back porch and garden. Such greenery, and me stuck under 24 inches of snow, and an ice storm predicted for tomorrow. We’re definitely on opposite sides of the world. And yet I feel close to you, Heather, and to other residents of SoulFoodCafe. What a wonderful place to have discovered. I feel like one of the priveleged, and am grateful for your inspiration and insight.

Barbara F.

Comment by bfahrenbac

Breath taking, thank you for sharing Darryl’s vision and labor of love!

Comment by melodysadams

Gosh, this is amazing work. I bet it was consistent effort day by day that got it done, too. And Darryl obviously has the eye for detail and design. It’s a credit to you and him, what you made together.

Comment by imogen88

Carnforth is his masterpiece, his opus. It is an installation piece of the Nth degree. Does the building have some sort of history so that it can be made be on some sort of historical registry? That would be the greatest honor I think Carnforth could receive.

Comment by Lori

I love having this guided tour to the house – old and new. What a tranquil, greenery-filled haven it is

Comment by Traveller

What an amazing transformation. Darryl had foresight and the talent to make of the area what he saw in his vision. You, Heather, have a lovely home, one that has evolved from love.

Comment by Vi

All that greenery and those beautiful flowers, very tranquil! What a lovely legacy for you to enjoy.

Comment by soulsister

Thank you so much everyone. Darryl did the backbreaking work and designed all the beds. We did have a builder do the extension to the house, an extension which took in the kitchen and porch. But Darryl did the 90% of the mannual work. I am the gardener. After Dad died, eight years ago, I seemed to inherit his green thumbs and things have thrived since then. When we returned from Europe in 2001 the whole garden needed replanting and we pulled out the old and established what you see today. Obviously established bushes and trees remained in place, framing the place and blocking out what was not a wonderful view of the properties behind us.

Comment by Heather Blakey

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