Steve and I have been designing homes together for over fifteen years and one of our favorite techniques is blurring the lines between outside and in. You can see that here at Patina Farm in the way our limestone flooring flows from the exterior at the front into the entryway of our interior.
The glass and steel front doors allow you to see into the home, and through to the other side where the gardens await.
This flow from exterior to interior becomes increasingly important to us, especially as we gain a deeper connection to the earth and nature. Designing a garden for the seasons has become a true passion of ours.
This topic always makes me think of the old song from the 60’s — Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds. Do you know it?
The lyrics are so true — to everything, there is a season - a time to every purpose. So let me walk you through the seasons here at Patina Farm and you’ll see how they impact our garden design.
Spring at Patina Farm
The scent of the wisteria blooming is our signal that spring has begun. They create gentle canopies that change the feeling of the gardens from open winter landscapes to comfortable roomlike spaces.
Coupled with the trees and ivy vines filling in their leaves, the sounds of the gardens shift slightly as there becomes more substance for sound to bounce off, creating a cozy feel that truly becomes an extension of our home. The renewal of spring happens quickly as the entire exterior changes, especially as the roses begin to bloom in mid-late spring.
Summer at Patina Farm
The bright colors of the garden continue to surface as spring shifts to summer. In the height of summer, our hillside of lavender buzzes with the gentle hum of the bees that help pollinate so many of the surrounding fruit trees.
Berries begin to pop up everywhere, and we happily fill our baskets every morning to keep up with the abundance.
As late summer arrives, the light begins to change as it hits the fruit on citrus and apricot trees that are enjoying their time in the sun. You can feel the shift toward fall as the apple trees begin to yield their fruit.
Sweet smells are in the air.
Fall at Patina Farm
As fall begins, the colors begin to turn and everything changes as the gardens prepare for winter. The leaves on the sycamore trees and the creeping Boston ivy begin to change from their vibrant green to the burnt colors we all love in autumn.
We chose to cover the exterior walls of our home in ivy because it so clearly shows the seasons on our walls just as one might wear their heart on their sleeve. The plants’ natural attunement is incredible as they instinctively prepare for the shift in temperature.
Winter at Patina Farm
The shift from fall to winter always signifies a shift for me personally of going from outward to inward reflection. It’s a time of year when I spend more time indoors, focused on cozy activities and the light shining inside. Magically, the exterior world seems to sense this shift as well, with the way it seems to go quiet in reflection on the wild energy of the past several months. The leaves on the trees and ivy disappear, leaving the walls and large branches exposed. The gnarled bends in the branches of the oak trees still amaze me with their sculpture-like qualities.
Are you sensing another lesson from nature? I am.
Mother nature always seems to know what’s needed at the right moment. The gardens flourish and bloom like complicated choreography, just trusting in the ancient wisdom of all that has gone before.
Maybe we can learn to listen to the internal rhythms of the seasons if we slow down enough to feel them and breathe them in.