Yes, everything looks very tiny in this image. But if you click on it you’ll get a much larger version of Michael Parkey’s construction document.
My front garden is about to get a makeover. Today I’m showing you the changes and additions to the existing layout, and tomorrow, I’ll show you what plants have been specified.
It’s been ten years since the initial design was implemented, and because of the increasing shade from tree canopies and the recent years of weather extremes, a lot of the original perennials have fizzled. For some time now, the basic structure has been looking sparse and rather dilapidated, and I was increasingly having to rely on seasonal annuals in greater quantities to make up for the loss of the original plantings. This became way too labor intensive for me, and I wanted my life back.
Both of the major planting beds will be expanded. This additional depth will now allow us to introduce larger plants that can provide a fun mix of varied heights, colors, moundings, and textures, while at the same time reducing the amount of grass lawn.
Note: When I say “us”, I mean my landscape architect Michael Parkey and me.
Architectural history that is. The one essential book for anyone interested in the history and architectural fashions of American domestic architecture is A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester. Through this book and Virginia McAlester’s website, I have learned that my home’s style is neither “distinctive” nor is it noteworthy. Nevertheless, it is an unadulterated example of what was the norm for the homes built in my neighborhood back in 1938. Ms. McAlester refers to my home’s style as “minimal traditional”. Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it? She even gives it another term on her website, “bankers’ modern”. So what is minimal traditional? Below is how it’s described in her book:
Minimal Traditional (ca. 1935—50). With the economic Depression of the 1930s came this compromise style which reflects the form of traditional Eclectic houses, but lacks their decorative detailing. Roof pitches are low or intermediate, rather than steep as in the preceding Tudor style. Eaves and rake are close, rather than overhanging as in the succeeding Ranch style. Usually, but not always, there is a large chimney and at least one front-facing gable, both echoing Tudor features. In fact, many examples suggest Tudor cottages with the roof line lowered and detailing removed. These houses were built in great numbers in the years immediately preceding and following World War II; they commonly dominate the large tract-housing developments of the period. They were built of wood, brick, stone, or a mixture of these wall-cladding materials. Although most were relatively small one-story houses, occasional two-story examples are also seen. More commonly, two-story houses of the period have extra detailing and represent late examples of one of the traditional Eclectic styles, usually Colonial Revival or Monterey.
Click on the link below for some super interesting tidbits on the various factors that influenced the architects and builders, e.g., the Federal Housing Authority beginning its mortgage insurance programs.
This gem of a film, a 1932 pre-Code romantic comedy, was selected in 1991 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Just the set décor alone makes this film a must see. The director, Ernst Lubitsch, felt this was one of his best, and the critics agreed. Because the film contains adult themes and sexual innuendo, after the Code went into effective enforcement, it was not approved for reissue and was not seen again until 1968. The film stars Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, and Herbert Marshall, and the wonderful Art Deco sets were designed by the head of Paramount’s art department, Hans Dreier. Hans would later win an Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Sunset Boulevard (1950). Click on the link below to view the wonderful sets.
An alternate title could be “what’s hanging (part three)”. This little marble shelf and bracket were installed today. Their purpose was to be a drop-off for my purse and sunglasses, but I’m now unsure about this. They’re just too precious to spoil with my scruffy everyday stuff. You can’t tell from this photo, but the marble top curves out in the front. In order to add depth—the antique bracket was too shallow to be useful as is—Charley McKenney, my architect, designed a way to push the bracket further out by mounting it to a thick wall-mounted board. Because the entrance to my bedroom is through that doorway on the right and the return vent is under the shelf, placing a piece of furniture larger than this shelf would not have worked. I’m thinking that this shelf needs a small sculpture. All in good time.
The two works of art above are by Lorraine Tady purchased through Barry Whistler Gallery back in 1995. They are both drypoint monotypes. The one on the left is Untitled, No. 117, and the one on the right is Untitled, No. 133. Hopefully someday I can get a better photo of these two. There’s just too much reflective glare during the afternoon, and the morning light would not have provided enough to show off this corner.
I forgot to mention that the table lamp on the right is one of a pair that were once my maternal grandmother’s. I love their art deco vibe.
Let’s play a little game. How long do you think it will take Oncor to return and clean up their spew? They are suppose to return next week (maybe) to move the transformer to the new pole, then the phone and cable companies will need to transfer their lines and connections. And we all know how responsive these various corporations are. I’m pretty sure the grass won’t survive and the weeds won’t be phased.