Fully utilizing & enjoying outdoor spaces!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yard Work

My late Grandparents, Jack and Pat Boyd
of Sherman Oaks, Cailfornia.

The Holidays are a time to reflect and remember those who have touched our lives. My Grandparents considered gardening both a hobby and a chore. They passed away several years ago, but I often think of the many ways they influenced my life. In their day (they graduated from college in the 1940's), very few people hired professional Landscape Gardeners or Designers. Although they considered their landscaping a thing of beauty, like many people they toiled in their own yard on weekends. Even though it might have been labor intensive, they fully embraced the process of what they called yard work.

On his free time, my grandfather lovingly tended his perfect lawn, a constant source of pride. Seasonally, my grandmother diligently replaced her garden borders with annual color like petunias, impatiens, begonias, marigolds, viola and more. Every Spring, my grandfather planted terracotta pots with strawberry plants and I remember many happy times hunting ripe strawberries as I played in the yard.

In Summertime, my grandparents would transform their yard for outdoor entertaining. The layout out of their yard was simple, a brick patio with a large grass area surrounded by planter beds and a huge Sycamore Tree for shade. Their BBQ was, of course, a Weber Grill and when it was time to entertain this space became our home outdoors. Indoor tables and chairs were brought out onto the patio. Crisp linen tablecloths and napkins made the outdoor space feel finished. White twinkle lights in the trees offered ambiance.

Meals were prepared, potato salad with tangy BBQ'd chicken and, of course, my grandmother's favorite, the Brown Derby Cobb Salad, yum! For dessert they made their speciality, homemade vanilla ice cream with the old hand crank machine. Everyone would help turn the crank with anticipation of this perfect Summertime desert.

As a child I subconsciously studied the care my Grandparents lovingly took with all of these outdoor living details. They worked hard on their yard and their outdoor space was truly their sanctuary. Without exactly knowing it, their yard work created a simple yet sophisticated aesthetic. I think about them often as I create outdoor living spaces at Garden Studio Design.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!