Maybe it’s because I’ve been home with the kids all summer (only 3 weeks until school starts!), or because I have a giant project for a volunteer commitment for the next three weeks (good timing), or because it is hot outside, but I am seeking a little sanctuary.
In the few moments each day when something or someone is not making harsh demands on my attention, I try to think about what I want this new garden space to look like. The room addition is progressing; the block walls of the foundation are laid and the drainage work is done. Framing should begin this week (hurrah!). What I see forming is a kind of squarish courtyard, framed by the ell of the house and two large oaks at the edge of our deck.
Part of me wants a cloister garden in this space.Typically, a cloister garden is formal in style; a quadrangle of calm framed by a sheltered but open walk. This grandeur, clearly, is not part of the renovation plan. However, if we are willing to stretch the definition of cloister to a courtyard that can be viewed in part from all four sides, we may be able to develop this idea further. I can see this spot from the rooms in my house where I spend the most time, so I think I must insist on its being visually calming. The trick, though, is that I know I won’t devote the time to perform the fine maintenance that a formal garden requires to keep it looking top-flight, and I won’t set myself up to look at mess from all sides. That would rather defeat the purpose.
This section of the garden receives good sun from midday on; I am working on a list of plants that I may need to move into this spot.
How do you find sanctuary in the garden? I’d love to hear ideas.