Tuesday, June 3, 2014

South Pasadena is Beautiful- Part IV - Artists as Garden Designers


"All gardening is landscape painting." 

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Flowers propped in a vase, plucked fresh from the garden- if there was any trend in 2014- this is it. 



Peter Dudar and Sally Marr painted Jo Lane's water wise  garden with artistic sensitivity for color and texture. Perky lavender blooms atop light green finely foliaged  succulents sings to pedestrians passing by "I feel pretty."  



Built in 1923,  the modest home is  bursting with happy details melding garden to home. Note a break from boring: window mullions are  framed in a bold teal. 



 It is difficult for low-chill Southern California to host tulips for consecutively annual glorious blooming seasons. However- the floral bearer of the message "perfect love"  can be replicated in art glass for a lifetime of  enjoyment. 



An expanse of mocha stucco  has potential to be be blah, blah, blah. By punctuating the space with a graceful bit of iron, the eye has something interesting to behold. 


Speaking of interesting, a passageway into the petite backyard Eden begins with a hard right turn from the driveway.  The galley of a patio, lush with a trumpet vine overhead, bisects the house from the open air orchid room. 



There is a palpable coolness to this space. Filled with orchids and hanging plants, the multitude of green leaves tames the afternoon heat.  


Outside, the space is lush with fruit trees. Succulents overflow the rock-edged soaking basins .  

The rarer water is, the more it should be celebrated.  It may be wiser to have gravel flow down pathways than a motor-powered stream: however the magic in this scene is the rippling surface of water in a fountain. 

This fascinated me, how this narrowest of side yards is dressed to impress. The visual foundation was the width of a coat of paint. The creative finish mimicking expensive mason skills,  so graphic a trompe l'oeil. Fabulously more cost effective than changing up actual masonry material. The rose at the sunny entrance acts as a brooch on a youthful bosom- a discrete signal pointing where to look without being obvious about wanting attention.

Rosemary trained flat to the fence is simply genius, this girdling up and in of a plant which easily matures to overtake a narrow space.  


 Arbors are ever so useful in designating focal points.  The white color bringing structure and "wow" to the vignette. 
   


Blocks for retaining walls require a bit of a initial investment; but they are sturdy investments. Dry laid, they are without the environmental issues posed by railroad timbers for building a raised edible garden.

Judging by the number of people checking out the kidney-shaped stack of stones filled with veggies; leaning over to their partner, chatting about what they would grow to eat in such a space at their home- the local home-centers must have done quite a bit of business in selling retaining blocks afterwards.  

Until we meet again, Thank YOU for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful. 


2 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely place this is....I like the naturalness of it all....!

nikkipolani said...

Oh, I love that patio! It looks like the owners liked to tinker with it -- a little color here, a spot for some nursery impulse buy there. Wonderful.