This time of year just begs for us to go outside. For me that means just another excuse to decorate! Before the daffodils have finished blooming my head is reeling with ideas and dreams of what I would like to see in my garden.
Not surprisingly, most of my thoughts turn to nooks; places to sit, read, sleep or eat. I covet outside rooms where I can be with friends or just sit and watch the day go by.
My grandparents lived in a row house when I grew up. The garden behind the house was a perfect rectangle, about 20 feet wide by about 40 feet long. Little concrete paths leading to compact, tidy shapes that were filled with vegetables and flowers. A compost pile and a greenhouse were neatly placed at the very back, next to a wooden gate that led to the neighbor’s garden.
My grandfather would be considered a Master Gardener by todays standards; it came easily to him, and he knew instinctively how to combine the art of design with the necessity of function. I loved that garden. To me, it was crammed full of adventure, constantly changing and filled with places to explore.
In the middle was the perfect patch of mown grass, often scattered with daisies and the occasional toadstool (just enough to keep the fairies occupied). But, the most special part of all was the secret garden.
When you walked out the back door, to the left you were met with a rose-covered wooden structure. Another turn led you to an opening. Inside the opening was a room completely filled with roses. I can still see the room in my head.
There was a bench inside, and I would sit and try to break off the thorns on the roses without hurting myself; when successful I would drop them on the ground, forgetting that later on one of us would probably step or kneel on them. When Summer was at its fullest the room was like a beautiful cave that transported you to another world. You were hidden from view, surrounded by the almost overwhelming scent of tangled roses. Winter made it harsh and cold looking, still beckoning, but not quite as friendly to small children.
All it takes to create an outdoor room is an idea. It doesn’t have to be literal, it just has to have a feeling. Think of what you would like it to be, then dream about how you will get it there.
(of course, if dreams don’t do the work for you, feel free to use plants, furniture or structural pieces)
Wendy Wrzos www.thebluegiraffe.com