Into the Outside

The rain seems to be following me.

Gardenkeeping is away from Port Townsend, but not away from the soggy skies. I’ve gone off to one my favorite places, the Bay Area in Northern California.

I flew out on one of the first nice days in Seattle thinking it was a good start for a vacation, but then, as we’re descending into Oakland, the pilot announces that the descent will be a bumpy one because of the rain and clouds! It’s hard to not feel personally responsible, “Yup, that’s me, the one walking around with a rain cloud over her head.”

My sisters have nice garden “rooms”

just outside of their living rooms. Normally we’d spend a lot of our time out there; eating, visiting, listening to and playing music and just relaxing in general. It feels so natural in this part of California to include the outdoors into your living space and usually, the warmth and sun makes it easy to enjoy.

They have done such a nice job of creating a comfortable space, a place to be with plants, that I really wanted to share it on this blog.

My sister, Sheila, lives in the city, but has her own patio that is enclosed by a wooden fence. So, even though the space is surrounded by other buildings, the orientation is focused inward. There are parts of the fence that are covered by ivy which helps to blur and soften the edges of the city as well. The plant palette is simple; just a few palms and grasses contained in large pots. The comfortable benches and sturdy table really complete the picture. Wonderful!

I have tables and seating in my yard in Port Townsend


but, the window of time to enjoy it is very small. Most of the year you’d have to wrap yourself up in a blanket and sit under an umbrella. This can be a very cozy moment, especially if you include a nice hot cup of your favorite beverage but, it’s not something you can approach casually.

“Ok, I’m going to do it. I’m going to sit outside! Who will join me?…Anyone?…No one?!!?…”

My sister, Dawn, lives on a small farm in Sonoma County. They live in a sweet cabin that she has done an amazing job of decorating; a truly magical space. She has a table and chairs that are just outside of a pair of French doors. In nicer weather, those doors are opened and meals are shared and enjoyed on a regular basis. Ah, if only I could get rid of this rain cloud!

Even though we couldn’t be outside much, the view through the windows removed any feeling of separation to what’s outside. The trees are close and their branches reach toward and around the cabin. So, once again, the focus is inward. You’re not looking out to see what’s beyond, your attention is held to the space your in. The effect is very cozy and concentrated.

It’s been lovely to visit with my sisters and their families and friends. We’ve fit a lot into a short visit, even the Spring Equinox came to pass (thanks to the Faun Frykdahls for a hearty meal and to Merlyn for joining us and giving a tour of the farm!). I loved to see how gardens and gathering are such a part of their homes and lives. Happy Spring, All!

The rain has kept us inside for now,

but the green to be seen through the windows

will draw us back out again.

Lotsa love to all of my sisters!

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14 thoughts on “Into the Outside

  1. Living in a drier climate any farther than Sonoma County might give more of an appreciation for rain. Although, we can’t seem to get it right. It is too dry most of the time, and then when it rains, Montecito gets evacuated!


    1. As someone visiting from the Pacific Northwest, I may have been the only person not appreciating the rain! I mostly keep it to myself, but I have to admit that I was not expecting it. It was maybe the first time I’ve experienced rain down there in years!

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      1. How funny. I used to go to Silverdale annually, but had only seen light drizzle there once in February. Californians always tell me it rains too much there, but I have not seen it do so yet. One of the heaviest thunderstorms I have ever experienced was in Beverly Hills, and it never rains in Southern California.


        1. Very true. We get a lot of drizzly, gray days. I’ve also lived in the Midwest where when it storms it’s very intense; thunderstorms, electrical storms and tornados! Storms that make the small hairs on the back of your neck stand up!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love the perspective that small places are places to turn inward–so often they get viewed as “missing something.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bridget I love your Oakland Garden Blog! You’ve really shown your sisters’ gardens in a very lovely way! I’m looking forward to also going to see them… of these days (hopefully sunny too)!! Lots of love, MOM


  4. We loved having you here and sharing such great times together! Our doors are always open, dearest! Looking forward to walking in your beautiful garden soon, xoxo
    PS, we thank you for bringing the much needed rain!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Bridget, What a lovely commentary. Time with sisters. What could be better?! Gardens too. XXAE


  6. sounds like you needed more time away. i do miss the blue northers storms where the thunder rattles the whole house!!


    1. At first it was going to be a long weekend. Then it became a week which seemed long. Now I’m not sure what would feel like enough time when you’re getting to see family and friends…
      …Yes, so nice to feel safely tuck into your house while the weather rages outside.


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