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In The Garden Spirit

In The Garden Spirit-Garden Decorating
By Lynn Prince

Every day in San Carlos is perpetual astonishment. The kiss of sun for pardon; the song of the seagull and pelicans for mirth . . . all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any. But, my garden is sacred. My grandmother used to say, "One is nearer to God's heart in a garden, closer than anywhere else on earth." The Amen! of nature is always a flower. Flowers and plants are silent presences; they nourish every sense except the ear, for they grow in silence.

With these lovely thoughts in mind, I decided two years ago, as I began the process of building my home, to develop it around an atrium in the center. I so much enjoy the tranquil, uplifting beauty of my garden that I wanted to bring those healing qualities indoors to enjoy throughout the day and seasons in a garden room.

The idea was to capture, indoors, a unique spirit and style inspired by the seductiveness of my outdoor garden. That spirit is expressed in the love of growing things, the ocean breezes and the warm embrace of the sun. The result was a soothing sanctuary of orchestrated tropical foliage encased in large expanses of glass that brings the outdoors inside and creates a marvelous meditative peace and ease that are always to be found in my garden.

Soft seafoam green walls are the subtle backdrop for charming decorative details—potted tropical palms and succulents, beautiful plates, a wrought iron bistro set, eye-catching touches of blue and white pots, a white iron container with a bird perched on the top filled with various shades of blue and green sea glass, a glass bird feeder filled with seashells instead of bird seed. An old antique sun dial proudly sits in the center of it all casting its shadow as the lazy sun peers down through the open top of the atrium. A small peach colored lizard has scaled the wall and joined the montage and keeps the spiders and ants away.

But, it is lacking water and I soon plan to add a wall fountain. There's something about the tinkling sounds of running water that brings peace to the soul.

One of the greatest rewards of my leafy, light atrium is the joy it brings me when everything outdoors is cold and gray. Since my kitchen, living room and master bedroom all touch the atrium, that sense of the outdoors fills my house inside, and fills me with a sweet sense of being in a garden continually.

You may not have an atrium in the middle of your house, but any space such as a sunroom, veranda, porch or any ordinary room with windows can be transformed into a light, airy garden room that is tranquilly reminiscent of a garden.

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