What should come to awareness is not the individual shapes and forms but the relationship between them. I seek to balance areas of activity with areas of quiet. Often, less is more and the abundant use of white space (often “green space” or “pebble space” in a garden) feels peaceful and welcoming.
Thresholds transition between indoors and outdoors, public and private, secular and sacred. When crossed, they cause the heart to become alive with engagement. Gates, doorways, and windows naturally create thresholds. It is also a delight to turn a corner to reveal a wow moment.
Patios, pergolas, pathways? My specialty: patios that are just big enough to lounge and gather but not so large as to devour all the ground area. Pathways create leading lines, often framed by boulders and perennials. Pathways can move straight and quick, or they can meander, offering up moments of contemplation, relaxation, and pleasant awareness.
The garden’s job is to wed the materials of timelessness with those that represent the cycles of life. For example…
- Calistoga boulders anchor shoulder-height, seasonal berry-laden shrubs.
- Low moss rocks provide root protection for heat-blooming perennials.
- Sturdy bronze courtyard trellises host the delicate tendrils of upward-moving vines.
- Shade structures cast shadows that shift with the angle of the sun.
- Young trees heave themselves skyward, growing thickly leaved in summer, then naked against the icy blue of winter.
- Glowing pathlights invite the eyes to dance through vertical and horizontal planes.
The garden is where the mind relaxes and the heart dwells. Within it, the promise of more to come and the excitement of the unknown engages us. The garden brings peace and acceptance to the transitions in our own lives. It reminds us that we, too, are a part of nature.