Wednesday, June 18, 2014

South Pasadena is Beautiful~ Part V ~ Timeless Craftsman

What makes Craftsman home and gardens perennial classics? The inherent dignity of  understated elegance.  

The water needs of a thirsty lawn is cinched by planting beds on drip water

The love shown Alan and Gail Malturn's gracious 3,020 foot craftsman home on a quarter acre lot is apparent in the fresh execution of details. Built in 1928 *, that year was filled with fun footnotes: 

Aliotos, on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, opens
Buddy, A German Shepherd, becomes the 1st guide dog for US citizen Morris Frank
The United Kingdom lowers the age of women's suffrage from 30-21
Kraft invents Velveeta Cheese
In Paris, "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel, is first performed publicly
The National League accepts the Designated Hitter Rule
Herbert Hoover is elected President of the United States 

A craftsman house is the child of architecture and nature. Instead of fighting for dominance, the elements respect each other. In tone. In simplicity. In careful curation of a multitude of materials.

The craftsman movement  rose as a rebellion favoring the restoration of manual labor following the Victorian era's massive industrialization. Broad porches, creative brickwork, abundant use of natural and honed materials: homes and gardens are not stark in any fashion.

The past 20 years was a time to reimagine the challenges of an older home into  opportunities to improved on the timelessness of design. A long strip of land next to the driveway was filled with roses and perennials. The simple brick edging, a levee preventing the bark from muddying up over the straight stretch of driveway surfaced in river pebbles. 

The porous surface driveway encourages water to percolate into the groundwater table rather than slide into the low-lying garage or scampering off to the ocean as wastewater.   

 Is there anything more glorious in the garden on a hot summer day than to rest beneath the forested canopy of a single, well placed tree? To listen to wind rustle leaves and birds calling to each other? 

Skiring this ancient camphor tree  with river rocks, elegantly solves the issue of the inability of either ground cover  or pavement to battle gnarled roots with grace. 

Art. A simply carved plinth of wood marks the entry to the rear garden, which was designed with large dogs romping about  in mind.

Is this Eve? The sculpture naturally calls the eyes to rest on a deliciously cool garden vignette.  

All gardens should have a bit of humor. Two talavera iguanas across the pool put smiles on visitors faces. 

Betwixt and between the pool and the garage, the homeowners carved a spot for edibles. Citrus, rosemary, sage huddle together, their aromas filling the air on hot days.

Okay- my knowledgeable readers- that  little bee-like creature happily munching at the basil- what is it? 

The true test of a garden's depth of beauty is not measured in how it looks from the curb. the test is when you are leaving: did the garden resonant with your being? 

The gentle crunching of gravel beneath my feet, my spirit felt a peace in understanding that it is possible to create places of timeless beauty.  Both architecture and gardens can remain vital companions to contemporaries of different generations. 

Thank you to Alan and Gail Malturn for opening your garden.  Those who entered, we were blessed to behold what you have created. 

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

* Events pulled randomly from for 1928


OldLady Of The Hills said...

How lovely, Lydia.....They have filled their space with such pretty things and an Herb Garden, too....!

I believe that is a Wasp...! I remember having a few different looking visitors---(I thought they were some kind of Bee) and didn't know what they were and the wonderful Blog readers told me it was a Wasp.
He looks like the same guy!

Oregon Sue said...

What a lovely house and garden. The home, a Craftsman, is a lot like one that was in a TV show a few years back, and for the life of me I can't think of the name... one of the sons was a cop, the father was retired, and the other son went to Cal Tech. Anyway, brain dead. And yes, that is a wasp. Got plenty of them here. Spray with WD-40! xo

Anonymous said...

Lydia, once again a blog worth waiting for. Lovely, just so inviting, too.

Beached Judy
Seal Beach, CA

Lydia said...

Thank you early birds! I will look into what kind of wasp it is. So Cal Hort had a wonderful presentation last week- but my body went kaput.

nikkipolani said...

Yes, I too think it's a wasp -- maybe a baby one.

What a restful garden. I like the idea of a lazy afternoon in the shade of that well-placed tree.

Oregon Sue said...

Go here for wasp identification: