*I know squinting is not an attractive trait, but I truly believe that looking at the world with an uncritical and slightly blurry gaze can infinitely expand your sense of contentment. Rose or peach-colored glasses will provide the same effect.
I love this 1908 advertising poster for the London Underground which I found in the wonderful book, "Everything You Can Do In The Garden Without Actually Gardening" by Philippa Lewis.
(click to enlarge)
The charming little house with its casement windows, the mother and child ensconced on the tidy back lawn, the husband in his shirtsleeves and waistcoat watering the sunflowers, and the sleek city train in the distance -- it's a perfect evocation of English suburban life at the turn of the last century.
And, how much, really, has changed? One hundred years later in Los Angeles, I have a not-dissimilar little plot of land that I also consider my refuge from city life, my haven for careless days of peace. I am looking for lawn chairs just like the one pictured. I love the idea of gardening in a proper outfit. As ridiculous as it may sound, I wholly believe that just a stone's throw from the tumult of Hollywood and Vine, I am living a miniature version of country life.
Whether anyone else agrees with me has no bearing on my rose-colored vision.
You may look at my garden and see tiny; I see endearing.
You may see too much shade; I see a refuge from the Klieg lights of the city.
You may see emptiness; I see potential.
You may see leaves in need of a rake; I see a layer of texture and color.
You may see a lack of design; I see grass waiting for bare feet, cartwheels and spilled lemonade.
(Snacktime in the Secret Grove of Holly Wood)
And Now, The Conclusion to "Give Me Liberty":
I went, I saw, I bought.
At the Target I visited, the homeware, garden and outdoor items had not yet arrived, but clothing was plentiful and I found a few lovely things. The mens flowered Tana Lawn shirts surpassed my expectations -- they are well-constructed, finely woven, perfect for summer and at $24.99, a fraction of the regular £125 cost. I purchased two for Piero (he took one with him to London yesterday, so here's the other)...
...and bought one for myself as well, along with a few pairs of $5.99 boxer shorts (perfect for underneath a dressing gown). I just couldn't resist all those colorful prints.
I didn't buy any of the womens clothing, but my friends did and were in ecstasies over their retro sleepwear. I am resigned to the fact that Target will apparently be rolling out items over the next week or so, which means a return trip (or two).