This rather stunning photo is of a winterscape at Hidcote Castle. It is in England–where they take gardening pretty seriously.
In case you were wondering, the strong geometric influence behind the twin gazebos–one of which you can walk through to reach the other if you were to approach from the side–is a group of pleached Hornbeams.
Pleaching. A task outside my vision, and one I am sure would not excite Rick, who often gets the “heavy labor” side of inspiration. Still, it is an interesting effect.
We got our square and circular effects in a slightly less labor-intensive manner. (This was of course by cheating: copying the already nifty architecture on our corner.)
I ran across the formal Hidecote garden while looking for design ideas for the Odell House gazebo and kitchen garden. We’ve had plans to build something for years, but just got ’round to of late. We also wanted to enclose the space and on the side of the house that, well, originally had the central kitchen. The Poplar Street and south face. But we didn’t want to create an eyesore–which can be a problem when the uneducated (us) plop something down in the middle of the work of people who did know what they were doing. Our answer? Careful research and hiring someone who could build on site in the manner of the original carpenters.
And that would be Dave:
One of Dave’s gates.
On to the Gazebo!
A small structure in a garden is not a new idea by any means. Below, the little kitchen garden pavilion at Monticello–the home of Thomas Jefferson, who experimented expensively with horticulture in the Colonial days of America–a lot of the focus was in growing vegetables.
Of course, by “cultivators of the earth” Jefferson is referring in 1790 to his 118 slaves who actually did the work in the garden.
Their plot is of course a lot more elaborate than ours. . .
Back in Spokane, we decided to have fun with the Gazebo roof structure, mimicking the Odell House roof lines, attempting to give it a feeling of “always there.” This is also a common hope that the smaller “outer house” will mimic some features of the larger one
(Practical note: A more recent photo of the same area: below to the right of the gazebo we installed a gas grill. This is common space–please go cook whatever you cook. That area over the lawn is also a good place in nice weather to smoke–which is not allowed within 50 feet of an opening window or door of the main house. The advantage of course–assuming it is not raining is that one need not sweep up ash. Small flower pots make ash trays–please to not transport any of these items into the house or house trash cans. The general refuse area is just behind the parked cars. )
Here is the gazebo creator, our carpenter Dave, on the job, if notoriously camera shy.
You will note no construction debris.
This is because every single day when Dave left, the place was neat as a pin. (Part of his day is cleanup.) And so he would go off in the evening, taking with him yet another chair for regluing, appearing again in due time to tackle another phase. And in the garage I would find the repaired chair, and on returning it to its mates, pick another for a trip to “Dr. Dave’s”.
(There are few things more wonderful for beefing up maintenance than having a dedicated cabinet maker regularly on the place.)
We painted the interior one of our lesser used trim colors–Templeton Grey. It makes the interior recede a bit. The door with circular window was a chance find at an architectural salvage place. We like how it mirrors the main house details. The second little landing deck makes the step up less severe, and is offering another place to grow food instead of lawn.
Back to Dave and the details of the project. People actually stop to take photos of the fence all the time. Not that it is fancy. It is very simple, made out of cedar and simple 2×4 inch rectangular woven wire.
But like everything Dave does it is well crafted and every detail thought out and executed with care.
The self closing “cannon ball” gates were his idea.
The clenched fist hitching posts (there are a pair) were popular c. late 1800 when there were actually equines to be tied up.
The gazebo soffits (under the roof line) are antique bead board–just like the main house.
Dave created trim to match the house as well.
The siding is cedar, identical to the original.
The decks are redwood to resist rot.
We think it fits nicely.
Looking across the kitchen garden to the Wakefield.
So why a gazebo?
Sitting outside, with just a little protection is wonderful. Part of our nature.
But the the apartments on the south side of the house have no porch.
Attempting to share the main porch, if you have not rented apartment A or B means you are sitting right next to the current residents bedroom. That just doesn’t work.
Seeing the need across multiple tenants, I wanted a common space that was easy to access for everybody, but not connected to any one unit. I wanted something that took advantage of the beautiful view north to the Wakefield and bluff. A place to take shelter from either the sun, or the prevailing wind, depending on the day and season.
Above, our version, lacking several hundred “employees,” of a raised bed–the straw bale garden. If you want to read more about that please see:
Oh, and PS, (don’t tell Rick,) thought daunted by tree pleaching, I am somewhat interested in topiary. . .