Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pink Saturday - The Pink Lantern

Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you!

One of the things I like best about our house is the vine-covered deck on the side of the house. It was once a dry and sloping hill of bare dirt, seared by the heat of the summer sun reflecting off the windows beside it. Nothing grew in such a blasted place, and the rooms inside baked during the day.

Our friend Peter came up with the idea - one day he suggested we build a ramada, an open lean-to shelter with an arbor roof to provide shade, like the Native-American and early Mexican dwellers in this part of California used to do.

It took some time, but when we finally managed it, we hired our friend Foster to build it. Our other friends, John and Anthea, designed the garden, planting a wisteria and an ornamental grapevine over the arbor and creating our water garden, nestled into a corner of the deck. Anthea planted a jacaranda tree for even more shade, and the beauty of its fine pinnate leaves and purple-blue flowers.

Wisteria in full bloom in May

Combining imagination, craft, skill and ideas, our friends gave us a greater gift than we could ever have done ourselves, and it's turned into an even greater gift than we had thought at the time.

The arbor deck transformed a useless patch of dirt into an outdoor room dappled with shade where you can sit, dine, talk and relax in comfort. In turn, its shade made the hot and airless office behind it into the coolest room in the house. The water-garden tucked into the space under the stairs gives us a sense of tranquility with its gentle fountain. The vines make a stunning display of blooms in the spring, food for birds in the summer, and brilliant red leaves in the fall. The deck even provides a dry and sure path to the laundry room, and shelter from all but the heaviest rain.

Geraniums in pots on the deck, in the dappled shade

The first year, I strung an extension cord through the kitchen windows above, and plugged in a cheap lantern I bought at Target. It's made of nylon, not paper, and to my amazement, it's endured for several years.

Though a bit dusty, it still gives off a soft pretty light when you plug it in.

The deck is a perfect place to sit and look out across the canyon. We take our Sunday newspapers out there, or a magazine, the dog lying by our side. [The Man I Love] even takes his laptop out there sometimes. The vines shade us from the hot sun, and we can look across the canyon to the mountains.

Even now, when it's turning to fall, there are nights we like to sit outside on the deck under the wisteria. It's nice to watch the sun set behind the mountain, through the pretty leaves of the jacaranda, framed by the timbers of the arbor.

After a while, it's dark enough to light an oil lamp and go plug in the pink lantern. And enjoy its mellow, warm light in the cool of the evening.


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

what a lovely spot - I do wish we were allowed to add a canopy of some sort over our back deck, as the sun makes it too hot to really use for much. But, alas, the condo association says no way.

...and your pink lantern is reminds me of the paper lantern in Streetcar Named Desire!

HaPpY PiNk SaTuRdAy!

Mary said...

What a lovely extension of your home into the garden. I think the pink lantern is perfect for Pink Saturday.Have a great weekend.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I just love your Pink Saturday interpretations. And I love your deck and garden especially. Thanks for the peek.

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

Perfectly perfect! I do so love sitting outside.

Happy Pink Saturday! Stop by my blog to sign up for the gift certificate giveaway!

Jason, as himself said...

When can I come for a visit? I'm finally just coming out with it and inviting myself over.

Beverly said...

Oh, Glennis. This is such a lovely and tranquil spot. I can see why it is such a treasure to the two of you.

And, of course, the pink lantern is the perfect finish.

Happy Pink Saturday.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

It is beautiful. I love wisteria, it just doesn't love Illinois:( What a wonderful spot you have created. I've looked around and I can't find any pink in my house!


Gary's third pottery blog said...

Gosh, how much snow have you gotten lately? None? Why don't I live in paradise like you?

Cottage Rose said...

What a beautiful spot to sit and gaze at the amazing view you have.. I just love it,, Love the Pink lantern,, in the evening when lite it is so pretty.. How lucky you are to have a place such as that... Happy Pink Saturday...


Barbara Jean said...

What a beautiful back yard.

thanks for showing us.

happy pink Saturday

barbara jean

cactus petunia said...

Beautiful! That is what I miss about California. It's lovely, truly...and now you have a dog to stretch out on the deck and enjoy it with you!

It's about 36 degrees here, and our deck is wet and cold. Thanks for letting me enjoy yours!

Gilly said...

Oh, what a wonderful shady place! (And what a very steep slope just beyond it!) I do envy you such a lovely place to live!

Still, the rain has stopped here and the sun is trying to come out!

BrightenedBoy said...

Such beautiful flowers, such a thoughtful gift.

I want to come to your house and sit out on the deck with you drinking coffee late at night.

JCK said...

What a lovely escape your home provides!

someplace in thyme said...

That was a great idea and the area could not have been better. I would love to relax out there and just hang. Happy Pink Saturday, Char

Nej said...

You have a beautiful deck!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd say you have the perfect outdoor room!