After six months of drifting and out-of-suitcase living, I have a new home atop a hill in Santa Monica. Few places could possibly be more quirky or dated (cork and burlap walls courtesy of 1973) but a huge kitchen with an ocean view and built-in wall-to-wall bookshelves sold my sister and me on it. And one other thing– the garden.
Ample raised beds built of brick stand before a few shaggy citrus trees and overgrown hedging. Leggy radish pods are overdue for being pulled. A struggling strawberry patch out front will be moved to make room for cutting flowers.
Not only are we blessed with growing space and free reign to modify it as we see fit, but complete privacy (excepting the view out to Catalina Island), and existing walkways make it a natural atmosphere for hosting. I am struck with visions of lingering light at summer barbecues and full cocktail glasses enjoyed under the stars.
As I write this I’m rolling my eyes at my absurd train of thought, the overly romantic idea of it all– forgive me the indulgence. To be inspired by a space, truly engaged and thrilled by the potential, is a rare sentiment. There is an enormous amount of clearing and labor ahead, soil treatment and seeds to sow in order to make way for summer, but the prospect of biting into a fresh Chocolate Stripes Tomato is motivation enough.