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Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Monique’s Home and Woodsy Garden Retreat Part 2

Monique’s Home and Woodsy Garden Retreat Part 2

In the early weeks of the summer, I toured Monique’s inviting woodsy backyard retreat. I promised to return at the peak of the growing season, and this time, also take a tour inside Monique’s lovely home. When she welcomed me back the other day to see her landscaping at its most lush, I noticed how different the entrance looked with the waist-high grass lining the walkway.


Here is her pergola covered in vines and newly budding flowers earlier in the summer.


And now look at the leafy pergola piled high with shade-bearing leaves.


It feels several degrees cooler on her porch, no kidding.


Where there were slate rocks under and around the rain barrel,  the barrel and the shed are now surrounded with hostas and ground cover. 



A private woodsy retreat Monique’s backyard truly is, with the trees providing a canopy of leaves overhead and perennials standing tall.


Remember her stone turtle on the patio? He’s perched elsewhere now atop some of the many stones Monique collects from the Southwest and other places she visits.


One thing I really love about home tours is the opportunity to learn more about the personalities of our Del Ray neighbors. When they welcome us in their homes, as we stroll together from room to room, we discover a little about their family history through their heirlooms on display. I think of Danielle and Phillip’s home tour and Danielle’s stories about her parents’ career in the horse racing world, prompted by the photos on her mantle. With Monique, I first noticed her running photos on the refrigerator and learned of her passion for endurance racing.


She showed me her countless awards and the racing memorabilia hung in the bedroom upstairs.


This is also where she keeps a stack of Trail Runner magazines on a blanket chest.


And umpteen pairs of running shoes (plus more in the closet).


In the basement, Monique stores other workout gear and here is where I took notice of a pattern of Asian decor, which Monique explained comes from her native country of Vietnam.


When she last traveled to Vietnam, she brought back this relic from a temple.


And this hand-carved water buffalo, one of the totemic animals she loves.


In her living room, she showed me a handcarved stone box.


I so enjoyed chatting with Monique about her passion for running and her ancestry, and also about her choice of antique furnishings, which she brought to Alexandria from New Orleans. It’s really these personal details, inside and out –  the details that express who you are and where you came from – that truly make a house a home.


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