Every morning before getting up, I reach for the roller shade, open it up, and soak in the view. A nine-foot sliding glass door opens up to my Secret Garden. It is an outdoor room that connects living quarters with the studio/workspace/sauna, aka Garden Room. In addition, the space serves as an entry court or porch ushering guests who are visiting the home office. Furthermore, it extends the interior spa outdoors by accommodating two chaise lounge chairs with the branches of the Fig Tree arching overhead. If that were not enough, the Secret Garden sustains a shaded, shielded place for meditation. It is scented architecturally with the fountain.
Paul Goldberger in his book Why Architecture Matters writes: “Architecture is balanced, precisely and precariously, between art and practicality.” He says: “And that may be as good a definition as I can come up with for the balance to which all architecture must aspire: to be both familiar and new, to provide both pleasure and serenity, order and novelty, intensity and repose, somehow managing to make you feel both equilibrium and a sense of revelation, all at once.” I aspired to achieve that in my Secret Garden.
This Secret Garden is a carefully considered composition. Its architecture impacts my everyday life, lifts my spirits.
First, there’s nothing but an enormous Fig Tree and a neighbor’s fence. Eventually, on the same spot, a water-wise garden appears. An enchanted oasis. Not only does it satisfy utilitarian demands, it elevates the quality of life. Yes, its enclosure, paths, and lighting are designed with practical functions in mind. But it has a higher purpose. Above all else, this Secret Garden is intended to artfully sustain heavenly experiences.