As I continue to design the gardens at Timshala, I realize that contrary to my usual practice, which is to work from the house outward, I’ve done more around the perimeter and very little around the house. And I just realized why. Until the house was complete, and I could actually experience what the outside looks like from the inside, I could not really visualize it.
The house is an octagon, and there are French doors leading out the garden on every face of the octagon. The views are complex, fascinating, and – for me at least – almost impossible to imagine. I can’t even say, as I normally would, “Well this wall faces north so we will use shade plants here…morning sun lights the east wall…afternoon sun for the west well, etc.” None of the doors or walls or windows are so clear in their orientation.
And then there is the issue of time of day. How does the property look in the morning? Afternoon? Evening? Even nighttime is interesting because the moon and stars seem so much more vivid here than in the city.
So this is without a doubt the most complex and wonderfully challenging design I have ever created. There are vistas to be created from so many locations around the garden. From a ‘clearing’ in the woodland….and a seating area at the edge of the orchard … and patios from the living room and bedrooms… from paths leading through the various spaces. And now…I’m working on the many and varied vistas from the inside.
Here is one particularly beautiful scene, through the’ back’ door, looking sort of east, just before dawn, when fog often softens the world. Some newly planted red leaf birches surround a garden light, their backdrop a distant scene of an adjacent forest.