I am not earthy. I am not new age. I am not bohemian, and I am not easy going. I am type A. I am all or nothing. This is great for an employer, but not always so great for home life. Aside from my car keys, I always know where things are and where they belong. I like things to be where they belong. A source of great peace for me from my type A self is my courtyard.
Before we had our house, we would jump in the car and drive around neighborhoods, looking for “For Sale” signs and praying the house would be semi-affordable. When we drove by our house and I saw the courtyard, I immediately put it in the unaffordable category. My first thought was to mentally inventory my closet and see if I could sell off my shoes and bags to make money. Not enough… My hair is terrible, so no one was going to want to buy that. I decided to look at the flyer for the price and cry. I was pleasantly surprised. In California, all homes are ridiculously overpriced, but this was a price we could swing! We got the house and started working. I ripped out cabinets and learned that electricity didn’t come from magic boxes in the wall. Every day, we ate lunch in the courtyard and I could envision things of beauty growing there and cool evenings with wine and friends.
The house is finished and even with all the beauty in each new room, the courtyard is still the place that I find magical. Patrick has strung white lights across the top of it and it is my wonderland at night! I’ve introduced T to it too, and I am sure in the near future he will choose to play out there over his room. Each plant that lives there is hand chosen. The jasmine winds up the side of the door because it is the smell that I associate with California. It took years to get it going, and had to be moved around to find its proper home, but it has taken off!
The gardenia was chosen because when its delicate flowers open, it is the smell of heaven. The azalea made it because of the hot pink color. It had a rough winter and is looking a little ragged these days, but Patrick has been tending it back to health. I battled the Aphids last year on my rose bush, and this type A girl won after much work and googling. I added a succulent pot this weekend and frequently go outside in the beautiful spring afternoon to just look at it.
I dangled Spanish moss over the courtyard windows. A dear friend gave us some and it reminds me of him each day. These plants don’t really go together or create one cohesive look, but each one relaxes me and lets me be earthy for just a bit.