Forever Young: The gardens of Patricia and Steve Buice enchant with stories abounding with what a life well-lived looks like.
If you spent 4th grade in the California classroom you studied missions. Remember building a model of sugar cube "adobe". This rustic representation of our heritage in a rusted wheelbarrow rates an A++.
Why should the inside dining room have all the decorative fun? The blessing of the Southern California region is how much time we can spend out-doors. Objects of art do not have to be expensive to be full of memories. See them and dream.
When my soul departs, I would not mind if my remains were set in a ginger jar and positioned to watch over the garden.
What makes Steve and Patricia's recessed entry so delightfully restful? Soft layers of design elements executed with the care of a traditional inside room. Colorful tile outlines the point of entry to the home.
The expanse of a bare wall is tamed with a trio of art. A soft pad on the seat offers a place to put your feet up or a package beneath. Ferns. Fountain. A tracery of vines.
Not just the portal for entry to their home- this is a place for private contemplation.
Guests to the garden on the day of the tour were side yard guests, passing plump plantings of sunshine yellow iris then under the metal arch covered with roses set to shower their petals.
Just past the gate, pet chickens welcome visitors. In a serious world it is important to find triggers to childlike joy. To keep little farm animals makes one feel like living in a storybook farm.
Nearby, a tea set is at ready for a party for two. This is just one of many ideas I am saving up for when my granddaughter toddles under her own power):-
Patricia shared that the late Bea Grow was a mentor to the couple. The doyenne of Orange County gardeners taught that when making a choice- "Go for the wow." In this case, with splashes of deepest blue.
Little mice scampering between chunks of slag glass add just the right sense of humor.
Ripe strawberries hanging off a a classic cement potted up offer delicious contrast.
Design note: the ancient appearance of the pot bridges the modernity of the furniture to the many vintage elements of the garden. This is much more inviting than if an end table matching the set defined the furniture arrangement's outer edge.
If this garden had just this fountain, it would be enough. Lucky for us- there is still more.
The lawn was as it should be, lush and large enough to play in. To lay on staring up at the stars then rollover to pick between all the shades of green; hunting for snails and other crawly and flying things.
Fairies live in this garden. This one proudly showing off his fresh lilliputian harvest.
Just to the side of the fairy's post is this lounge chair Patricia rescued from a garage sale. Steve reinforced it with rebar, stretching landscape fabric over the horizontal frame- forming the cushion on which his wife quilted a coverlet of moss and ivy.
Shade is from above. At night- can you imagine the romance these vintage hanging lamps sourced from e-Bay have seen? Hubba. Hubba):-
Steve explains to my friend, Marilyn Bowery, how he built the platform to the tree house from used lumber he was given in 1986. He is pointing up to where the little ice-cream soda style chair his daughter sat in when she was a sapling and the tree was not much taller than the railed platform. As the tree grew, they let the branches carry the chair to where it marks how far upwards the journey in life has carried them.
Until we meet again, thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful.