Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Katrine's Garden


Many years ago, my friend, Katrine Trobish Stewart, came to Camp Stoney for Opera Camp.  She loved it so much that she contacted me about spending the summer there.  I recruited her to be the the Spiritual Director of the counseling staff and Katrine began a journal project with them and with each of the camps that summer.  She had been leading spiritual journal workshops for a number of yearsWriting comes naturally to Katrine who is the daughter of missionary parents, Walter Trobish and Ingrid Hult Trobish Youngdale who served in Cameroon, West Africa where Katrine and her four sibling were born.  Her parents moved to Austria to provide better schooling for their five children and formed Family Life Mission. Family Live Mission is an international, interdenominational, not-for-profit organization dedicated  to family renewal. Over the course of their lives, both parents published many books.  Click on their names for links to the books.  

I had never kept a journal or done much writing at all at that point, but loved the idea of recording thoughts, impressions, and images of things that were important to me.  Sporadically I began to keep journals... primarily sketches since I am an artist. Many of you have seen some of the pages of my rafting journals.

Katrine pointed out to me recently that my blog is really a journal of sorts.  It keeps a log of snippets of my life.  In it, I reflect on events that are important to me.  With this in mind, I have decided to join Katrine's online journal prompts.  Each week, I will reflect on the question that Katrine asks.  You may want to join us.
I may share these reflections from time to time on this blog.

During that summer at camp, I planted flower gardens around the director's house and began to be too busy to maintain them, so every morning, Katrine would water them.  As they flourished and began to provide vivid color, Katrine started referring to her water chores as "painting with water." 

Today, Katrine and her husband, David, have recently retired to Albuquerque.  Katrine is still writing, leading journaling workshops, and enjoying her role as grandmother.  In addition, she has returned to "painting with water."   She has asked me to help her transform her neglected (her house was rented for many years) backyard into a family living space for her visiting children and grandchildren.
About ten years ago, they purchased a house in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque.  It is a bit small, but has a guest house for visiting family.  Their property has been rented while Katrine, author and workshop leader, and her husband David, formerly Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in London, have moved around the world due to his career as a diplomat.  Steve Shelly Landscapes designed and installed a lovely small courtyard for the front at that time and prepared a basic drawing for the back.   I am flattered that Katrine has asked for help in making some design changes which includes an outdoor living room for her soon-to-be upgraded backyard.  Although her house has more of a cottage feel, Katrine has lived much of her life in Europe, I am thinking a little more formal than Francesca's patio for Katrine's garden. Katrine loves the tile and Moorish architecture that informed the Spanish influence in New Mexico gardens and courtyards.

Her yard is quite large and has very established trees, so shade will not be as critical.  She would however like to have a hot tub, an outdoor shower and a garden shed (for David's bicycle, camping gear, and garden equipment) and perhaps a "loo" as she calls it.  

She and David have four grown children and two young grandchildren.  The main house has only two bedrooms and a bath and the guest house has one bedroom and a bath, so she is thinking an outdoor pavilion that might be closed off with canvas curtains for sleeping when the whole family gathers.  I am betting that might cause some sibling rivalry about who gets the elegant outdoor bedroom!  A very large table, perhaps concrete to withstand its outdoor life, is a must for dining.

I neglected to take my camera when I made a site visit, but will be posting some photos soon of the "before" yard.

Here are a few inspiration photos for Katrine's garden.
The shed will need to match the house which is stuccoed.

We will probably do a curved seating area somewhat like this.

We might put the dining on a deck since we will need to mitigate the height of the hot tub.

Possibly a fire pit for winter?

Curtained pavilion for sleeping?  Roofed to provide protection for weather.

And, of course, my husband will be extremely annoyed if I don't soon get some ideas on paper of our own landscaping projects!  If you are wondering, NO, I am not a professional landscape designer, but have done some projects with friends over the years because of my love of gardening.

Any of my readers have plants they could divide and share?  Ideas or inspiration photos you would like to share?  Email me at heathergaume@gmail.com

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