Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rose Society of Saddleback Valley Elegant and Enchanting- Part III

"Begin with the end in mind." 
~Stephen R Covey

One of the differences between humans and God's other creatures is we can have an emotional reaction to a photograph. This gift is a sign of our significance to Him.  I look at this picture and feel the ocean cooled breeze as it was that day; smile at the thought of seagulls floating across invisible currents. I feel the warmth of the open hospitality of the homeowners. 

 This view is certainly where Rick and Julie Borgens began as they planned their home and garden. Every wall. Every stone. Every decorative object. 

Sea shells and succulents  inset into a recessed hallway are just the right note.  Usual items displayed unusually catapults the sum of artistic value above any individual component. 

 Blue walls. White wainscoting. Whale motifs.  The art sparks conversation that for whale-watching, 2013 was a stellar year. 

Two rooms. Two fireplaces. Both in sync stylistically with the one we passed on the way in (see the previous post). Rough- hewn surfaces hearken back to a day when hand craftsmanship was valued. 

A solid vintage cabinet holds down the bold shiny newness of the stainless steel barbecue  to a visual level comfortable with the classic New England influenced architecture.  

Note the stone backsplash.  Not only does it protect the flame from ocean breezes complicating the cooking process- it completely cocoons this living space from neighbors. The arch prevents its visual weight from being too heavy handed a design feature. 

 The back garden is casual- with little houses set about for feathered friends.  

A classic lantern serves as a terrarium on the sideboard.  For textile interest- a bit of fisherman's net  drops in just the right amount of rugged.  

This is a very hard home to leave. Don't you love the humor of a mermaid doorstop holding the door open for visitors to come- and when we must, leave? 

Design note- there is nothing wrong with changing up the hardscape. The trick is to have the materials relate in some fashion. The higher the traffic, the sturdier the footing should be. Hence the mortared-solid main walkway; with larger stones set casually within  a miniature creeping ground cover- a softer look of a  less traversed side path.  

And so we close this chapter, leaving as we came, happy to have been invited. 

Until we meet again- thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rose Society of Saddleback Valley Elegant and Enchanting- Part II

"A house can have integrity, just like a person. " 
- Ayn Rand- The Fountainhead

This is the story of the cliff-side home and garden of Julie and Rick Borgens.   It is a home or rare integrity. 
  1. in·teg·ri·ty  

    1. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    2. The state of being whole and undivided: "territorial integrity".

Walking up the street to the lot, casual colorful annuals lit the way

to a home where garages at right angles  stood sentry to the gate which will open to a private world

Where the back living accouterments were up front.

The details, such as this pediment are strong of line and  painted pristine white, with trumpet and other vines softening the line of eaves.

A good garden does not have to be fussy.   It must have personality. The high color low water succulents in the window box whisper the homeowners understand how to make casual elegant.

From in front of the window box, the naturalistic view from pool to spa to house to the ocean air- this home speaks of a couple who understood the climatic and geological constraints of the property- and used them to uplift the architecture with a gardenscape that was at once lush and low water. 

Succulents thriving in driftwood along the shingled wall  brings natural materials to viewing height as a painting would an exterior wall.

A weathered bench is cozied up with pillows. Design note: A wire basket filled with objects of the beach. Not all arrangements need to be flowers.

You aren't even in the house yet when you are offered a chance to put your feet up.  The fireplace and an overhead heater mean this space could be a lovely spot to enjoy the absolute blurring of indoor-outdoor  living in comfort on an evening when the fog rolls in.

Flowers floating in a bucket. A Keep it Simple arrangement if ever there was.

We're almost to the front door. This is a home I simply could not rush. Come back soon. There is more to savor.

Until then- Thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rose Society of Saddleback Mountain Elegant and Enchanting- Part 1

"Peace Begins with a Smile"

  What a lovely thought to begin our tour with. When life feels out of control- turn those outer corners of the lips upwards: feel the calm roll outwards, like a fog pleasantly cooling cooling hot temperatures. 

Welcome to the home of architect Ed Bilezikjian and designer Dawn Saunders.  They literally set the table to welcome the multitude of guests.

In honor of the Southern California indoor-outdoor lifestyle, this home tour  stands out as one where the gracious owners allowed the garden tourists to experience the actual transition between home and garden.

Modest in size and modern in approach, the spacial flow between spaces gives plenty to appreciate in Dawn and Ed's carefully curated collections as you stroll on through to the outdoor living spaces.

The sound of water flowing over the glass and slate mosaic tile fountain called its invitation to venture outside.

Close- up, the warm tone of the rose sharing the stage shows the attention to detail so seamlessly woven in the garden.

Off to the side is a lovely table to take a meal at. Notice the jewel tone votive cups dangling from the umbrella. Imagine them lit at dusk.  Dinner served under the moon's gaze- let the magic begin.

New Zealand flax. If there is a plant I have a love-hate relationship with, it is these floppy spiked Zulu headdress- looking thingies. Such beautiful color and inimitable structure- set out in commercial plantings all by their lonely selves, they scream for attention; the horticultural equivalent of a narcissist.

What the homeowners brilliantly did was to place the divas amongst a chorus of softer plant forms.

Still the star of the show, her attributes are much better appreciated when pops of equally intense colors join her to fill in among abundance of chlorophyll-rich leaves.

Bringing the comforts of home out to the garden is exemplified in this plumply cushioned chair. Design note: the furniture not being matchy-matchy is charmingly sophisticated. DO try this in your garden. 

The English-like style setting took advantage of hydro-zoning.  By grouping roses and higher water need plants together - then broadly brushing the landscape with drought tolerant selections of California, New Zealand and Australia, the garden proves lush garden and low water usage are not always antonyms. 

Relaxing is my companion for the day, Marilyn Bowery. I've known this amazing woman since children's choir in Whittier. 
Don't you love this fire ring?  The careful curve of cement is surprisingly snooze inducing.

 Pomegranate trees deserve more use in the landscape. Equally tough and beautiful, the fiery blossoms are a perfect foil to the chartreuse server pieces for miniature flying guests.

Even as  a Christian, I can appreciate how appropriate relics of other faiths can be in the garden.

Speaking of bringing the indoors out- those are exterior walls you see in this showering area.
With a feature such as this- solid fences  and a good security system- make for good teenage neighbors):- .

Water. This knee high bubbler  proves a delightful marker to the transition back to the front.

Design note- when choosing plants and pottery for the same area- think how they visually respond to one another.  As in choosing whom to marry- you don't have to be the same- you do not have to be the same color- but you do need to work together.

Until we meet again- thank you for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Catching Up With My Country Garden

Everything that slows us down and forces patience 
Everything that sets us back in the slow circles of nature is a help.
 Gardening is an instrument of Grace. 
~May Sarton

Tornadoes. Fires. Political Scandals. Who couldn't use some extra Grace last week? Besides, it not being healthy to work 24/7- creativity is the caveat which elevates good to great. Fresh perspective must be  frequently nourished outside the office. Away from scouting assignments, queries and submissions. 

When my cranky-o-meter starts to make noise, it's time for me to get a little dirty. 

The seasons of my garden are linked through layers of nearly everlasting bloom. The hummingbirds generally ignore the store bought feeders. 

For some reason, this copper domed model  being squeezed by a couple blooms of rosa 'Dick Clark'  isn't just "flying room only"-

It is a real and regular rest stop for the dozens of hummingbirds who visit it during our patio  breakfast breaks. 

A perk of my trade_ This buttery yellow rose arrived in a box from Jackson and Perkins . Unfortunately it is was not labeled.My mystery rose is in a well- shaded position- the leaves stay clean without any spraying. It blooms regularly. Note to self- send a picture to the company for an ID. 

Angling the camera slightly southward, you can view the finger canyon that is the source of our country view. 

Back when this subdivision was planned- this space was intended to be filled with high voltage towers. Enter the age of buried utilities. Over the years, trees have filled in. The ownership of the strip is broken up among the private properties it ribbons through- there will be no development  through the belt of chaparral.   

Squirrels may be rodents- but at least they are cute rodents. 

 We do miss the quail which used to live in the valley before all the house cats moved in.  Perhaps we can try incubation and reintroduction in the near future since the coyotes keep the  house cat population down.  

Not that all predators are land-based. This image of a Cooper's hawk looking at the "so- fresh- it's -live-menu" was taken while sitting at my study desk.  

Do we have bunnies? Now that we don't keep hunting dogs- Yes.

Garden hint. When you have statuary disappearing  into growing plantings, as this little cement bunny was- inexpensive clay pots make great pedestals. Use a pot whose bottom is as large as the sculpture it is to hold higher off the ground. To make the pot heavy enough so they don't turn over, put a paper coffee filter in the bottom, fill most of the way with cement. Add just enough water to stir. When its dry- turn over and top.  

What is a country garden without mason jars of bouquets brought in on a whim?  This day rosa 'Betty  Boop', Valerian and blue borage  transferred some of the Grace that grows outside to the interior.  

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