by germinatrix | April 22nd, 2009
Long ago, there was a garden club …The Germinators. We met at each other’s houses and had drinks ate and laughed and talked about our fabulous plants and ate and drank some more. And then we drank some more and talked about fabulous plants we wanted to buy. Two of the OG’s (Original Germinators) were Nick and Laura, and their garden was our prize, the jewel in our collective crown.
Well, they just had a little party and guess who was invited! Come with me and see the gorgeousness!
It was (and is) a magical place, where plants grow bigger, flowers are more plentiful, butterflies and hummingbirds hold raves – and if there are faeries … this is their home base.
The living room opens onto a clearing in the garden, and a few feet away is an arbor draped with Lady Banks roses; a perfect place for morning coffee, afternoon tea, or anything … anytime!
Lily Isabel lives in this magical garden, too – and has the best playhouse I’ve ever seen. I can imagine how fun it would be to have a sleepover with all my friends here… lucky Lily!
There is also an amphitheatre in this garden! Nick and Laura built it out of recycled concrete, and it truly looks like ancient ruins. You might think you would never really need an amphitheatre, but when you have one it really comes in handy. All the sudden, you might have a play you need to perform, or an urge to have impromtu music festival… let’s go to Laura’s! She has an amphitheatre!
When you live in a place like this, plants and planting works it way into every aspect of your life. Both Nick and Laura are artists and also teach art here in LA. Nick’s drawings of bugs and plants are amazing, especially this one of an Amorphophallus. (And no, I didn’t prop that baguette there to add an extra phallic symbol to the mix. It was totally accidental. But I probably would have if I’d thought of it…)
There are so many incredible moments in this garden, I can’t point to just one! I remember when this Ceiba was planted, and it became one of my favorite trees. The common name is Floss Silk Tree, and the green thorny trunk is its hallmark. If this isn’t a tree to be reckoned with, I don’t know what is. I love cool green-ness of this shot. The Otatea acuminata in the background lends a weepy softness that makes a perfect backdrop for the dramatic trunk of the Ceiba and the rubbery Agave attenuatas. Nasturtiums are ubiquitous here at Nick and Laura’s; they make for a happy, unpretentious underplanting to all the dramatic specimens.
This garden is so big and so full of detail that it is impossible to encompass it in one post, so we’ll have to come back and re-visit – different things in bloom and different light makes for a different landscape. Gardens are mercurial by nature, but when one plants as freely as these two do – thinking more about love and the visceral experience of space than the mundane rules of ‘landscape design’, then plantings are given carte blanche to do what nature intended. They combine and create new relationships; the plants themselves become an active participant in the design process. We’ll be seeing more of this place in the future!
I’d like to give a big thanks to Nick, Laura, and Lily for inviting me and my blog to the lovely garden party, so we can all share in the wonder. There is still SO much more – but maybe we can return when the cardoons are blooming and then I can show you the chickens, the bunnies, the fountain … Oh MY!
See you later, Germinators!