My hobby(passion) is Gardening particularly the creation and maintenance of plants and structures which communicate the harmony (and often the chaos of nature).
The overall concept is an old one - to create a series of garden “rooms” all connected by a path, each room with an entrance and an exit. This layout helps you create “surprise” as you enter and the urge to explore the room. Each has an appropriate (I hope) set of plants which are harmonious but vary to give interest. As this is California, it is possible to have this vary through the year. There is no time or weather when the garden can’t be explored. Walking in the rain is great!
An important requirement is to encourage the exercise of all your senses.
You can hear the rustling of a breeze, the sound of birds — hummingbirds my favorite and crows my least favorite. There are fountains for sound and motion.
You can smell the fragrance of the plants.
Some plants can even be tasted. There is a vegetable garden and lots of fruit trees which we share with the squirrels.
There is of course the visual interest of sight in the variation of color and the arrangement of shapes.
As you move through the garden it is impossible not to touch leaves to feel the textures from amazingly smooth to coarse and rough.
There are benches in every room to sit. And what a great place to read or listen to music!
I am also interested in “healing” gardens which calm you down when you are stressed. My garden works for that purpose as well. Although, if you carry clippers with you, there is the urge to edit things that are growing too wild! You have to control this impulse — but I have to admit that the “editing” urge can be pleasurable as well.
I enjoy very much my service on the Board of The South Coast Botanic Garden which is undergoing a very beautiful restoration. And we love visiting other people’s gardens so I can steal ideas!
My garden was filmed over a couple of years by Tom von logue Newth, an English/ LA filmmaker. First, a 5 minute trailer for the video of the garden: Trailer, no password.
Secondly, if you are in a thoroughly mellow mood there is the 1 hour version - a lightly guided tour of the garden in all seasons, times of day and weather: Tour, password is garden.
Below are a few pictures of my garden!