"The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread."
~David Herbert Lawrence
|A sculpted dog stands guard over potted succulents at the corner|
A voracious reader, certainly Virginia Robinson read D. Lawrence, the English poet and author. So much of Lady Chatterley's Lover celebrated not just the erotic nature of love, but the intrinsic lure of nature. Whether left wild as God created or cultivated by man, a garden, by nature, is seductive
There is soothing beauty in repetition. The pyracantha in the top image is clipped to a diamond pattern. The Madagascar is threaded and allowed to hang through with Spanish moss on a trellis.
The diamond pattern repeats on outdoor furniture and other iron work.
A bas relief panel is characteristic of Beaux-Arts style. Together with overhanging
greenery , it relieves a wall of stark dreariness.
The mixed ivies peaking out from under heavy balustrades. This adds all the charm as if the garden were a cake and giants came through and super-sized the swagging.
Virginia Robinson's plans were to have a cohesive Mediterranean garden. However her property had other plans.
When the Mediterranean plants repeatedly insisted on converting into layers of compost, a guest suggested Virginia try King Palms.
|The palms leaning in for a kiss are named Harry and Virginia, in honor of the Robinsons.|
In later years, she insisted on going on her own to read. Unbeknownst to her, a very thin maid followed from a discrete distance. If the doyenne fell- assistance would be timely.
As the tour winds to an end, the interest keeps on coming. A wall fountain feeds a pond filled with water lilies.
The soul needs beauty- but the body needs nourishment. This was my excuse to join a special friend for lunch at The Ivy Restaurant on Robertson Blvd. I specifically did not ask the photo policy because I so wanted to share how absolutely romantic a tiny little cottage plopped on a major Los Angeles city street can be. Learn some lessons on how to create the ambiance in our own homes.
First- Being swept away is romantic. The imagination needs to be queued. Farm animals and implements, such as baskets and enamelware, may be even more romantic when they are in as unexpected place as in Los Angeles on the border of Beverly Hills.
Chivalry is romantic. As is good service. By courteous men. Lots of them wearing rose fabric ties with nothing on their minds but bringing you pleasure.
A life well-lived is romantic. It is full of roses and collections brought together not for how they match visually, but for emotional impact.
I particularly love the use of flags in restaurants. There is an authenticity to how they tie in the history of the proprietors to place.
There are very few rules in true romance. But if I were to advise young lovers, I would say to be concerned with practicalities is decidedly un-romantic. There is nothing practical about a patio open for business to be stuffed with umbrellas. They squeeze out a table or two of potential customers. There is everything romantic about vases stuffed with a rainbow of roses with mint for greenery.
To demonstrate the importance of color and pattern I want you to look at this salad and imagine it on a white plate- because the imagination would be quieted, the appeal would be, too.
A simple salad. Sparkling water. Romance is best uncomplicated.
More info on The Ivy Restaurants here