Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden


A Garden of One’s Own

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“Well, of course,” you say, “a garden is one’s own.” But this friend’s new little garden elicited just that sentiment as I was viewing it. Having pushed out a bedroom wall to create an office for herself, the corresponding project was designing a pocket garden to create a view that would be all her own. One that would provide day dream inspiration and a shot of green that always clears the head. Such a personal gesture requires a deep dive into the soul and thought-provoking introspection. Designer Sally Paul was instrumental in bringing the sylvan creation to life.

Cozied into one corner of the generously-sized pebbled front courtyard…

…large stepping stones take you along a straight path that will make a sharp right turn and lead you to the small garden’s centerpiece — the gurgling stone fountain with lily pads.

Even though it is February in Los Angeles, the use of a spectrum of green and plant material in varied textures, sizes and shapes (i.e. balled evergreens and tall cypress) keep this design looking and feeling fresh.

Bold statement containers add structure and punctuation.

Along a wooden fence, a bank of favorite ‘Drama Girl’ red camellias give a “punch” to the predominant plantings of ferns, hellebores, and succulents.

This garden’s strength is in its simplicity; every decision has been carefully considered, none more so than the fountain and its surround, predicated on three squares — the pebbled base (its corners anchored by tall spires of Italian cypress), the raised rim and the third square, the fountain itself.
A creation that provides the perfect focal point to gaze down upon from one’s desk in the new office… and reminds me never to underestimate the value of a water feaure in a garden.

And my friend is fortunate enough to have a grandson, a volunteer “gardener in training,” who loves nothing more than sweeping paths with his own little broom.

Isn’t it time to create a little garden “just your own?”

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

4 thoughts on “A Garden of One’s Own

  1. A garden view from ones bedroom would be my ideal luxury! With French doors of course so I could wander out first thing in the morning with my cup of earl grey tea. What a lovely personal garden. I really like the pebbled walkway surrounding the fountain…and imagine walking on the sun warmed stones with my bare feet. Thanks, enjoyed this very much.

    1. Sounds like your inspired!! And you are so correct, this does qualify as a luxury, the truest kind.

  2. This is just lovely and all the more so because it is an accessible concept and one that will not only inspire many, including me, but that could actually be acted upon. Brava, x, Frances

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