Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Each year on or around my birthday, I like to take a day all to myself where I spend the time alone doing some of my favorite things in peace and serenity. I try to disconnect from email and phone and spend some time outside in nature and with myself. I usually spend this day admiring the garden, reading a book, and watching a film or two. These are some of my favorite things. Later or on another day, I will celebrate with my husband and friends and family.
I do not remember when I decided to begin this ritual. It must have been over 20 years ago. One day near my birthday, it occurred to me that it would be very satisfying to take a quiet day just doing some of my favorite things. I do much of my work from my home office, so I spend a lot of my time working at home. If I am not working on a writing project, I am cleaning, gardening, or organizing. And although I enjoy all of these things, sometimes it is nice to take a retreat in my own home--a quiet and solitary quest for pure amusement. It has become a personal ritual that I relish and treasure, and oftentimes I wonder why I do not do it more often than solely around my birthday.
This year, I decided to read Barbra Streisand's coffee table book, My Passion for Design. I bought the book over a year ago and saved it for a day when I had some time to savor it. It is a book about how she designed and built the buildings and garden on her property and how each detail was managed.
I am reviewing this book for Garden Book Review by Holly at Roses and Other Gardening Joys. It is not a traditional gardening book, but she has incorporated much of the garden design in the book. And, oh what a garden!
I do not aspire to have a property such as hers, but I find books and films a great way to escape into another world and share in or experience that world. And in most books that include some aspect of gardening, I find a few ideas to translate to my own garden. Her property is impressive, for sure, and all the work shows her passion for beauty and a clear sense of home.
The property sits on the California coast and her home overlooks the ocean. She has incorporated paths, fences, arbors, pools, and ponds. She has free range chickens, a mill house, patios and sitting areas, a vegetable garden, and a rose garden. One of the roses in her garden was developed by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses just for her and is called the Barbra Streisand rose.
The book details the history and struggles of her decision to build on the property and how she obtained it. All of her garden decisions seem to be based on a plan to complement nature. The vegetable garden is made of raised stone beds that are scattered here and there. Soft and round stones were selected instead of rectangular and sharp-edged concrete for much of the hard landscaping.
Overall, the book is a feast for the eyes and an inspiration for anyone who wants to design or decorate their house and garden. She seems to have thought of every single detail and it shows. The property seems like a retreat, a world away from distractions, a private refuge.
© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter
Posted by The Sage Butterfly