Monday, March 15, 2010

Life's A Peach, Isn't It?*

*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.
(Post-laundry, pre-ironing)

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).


Unknown said...

I made the liberty/target run as well and bought a watering can (black and white largish floral print on entire surface except top of can and top of pink! OK, I bought two watering cans. I knew one of my friends wouldn't go and would regret it. Missed the nightwear darn it. wish there had been more throw pillows.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

I am loving the gardening posts. That advert is darling-the book title even better. As to Liberty-I got 2 men's shirts online for my student teaching nephew and a long frock for my niece. Since I am in the provinces a friend is collecting ties and gardening gloves about today! I can't wait to see her Liberty purchases. Gaye

Laura said...

I think your garden is lovely the way it is, although I do agree that the pouf would be a fabulous addition. My mother always used to plant bulbs in lovely containers and move them about the garden, changing the flowers up each year as she wished. It always added a nice burst of color and didn't require much of a commitment. On another note, I tried to go to the Liberty pop up store near Bryant Park but they were closed, absolutely sold out, a day after it had opened! Now I'm just lusting from afar online...where nearly as many items are sold out as at the pop up store. Sigh.

Debra said...

I love the canvas that you have created here for all sorts of gardening possibilities. Now about the Liberty at Target!!! They didn't have much at my local store-and until I read this, I completely forgot about the mens shirts. I suspect there will be a return trip tomorrow morning...

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Laura (What I Like): I may be going back there tomorrow, so if there's something you (or anybody out there) wants me to look for, tell me. It would be no problem to buy it for you, honest. xx

Anonymous said...

My Target Liberty take: Two shirts for my husband, a blouse and dress for me, a pillow, tiny bag for my 8-year-old daughter (may return to get her a sundress; hard purchase as she weaves in and out of dresses or hardcore-no dresses mode.) a box, the multicolored tea pot and three matching cups. The boxers are a great idea for summer sleepwear. May have to go back.

Tara Dillard said...

Do you have ANY idea how much history is in the pic of those boys on their chaise lounge's in the garden?

It says as much, or more, as your title pic.

Ha, and what you decided to write about. Funny. Gardening to Target.

And I sooooooo understand.

Gardening, shopping, pets, interiors, cooking, travel, books....... Must all be on a single chromosone.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Vanya Wilkinson said...

Gosh won't it be nice if Golders Green actually looked like that now!

Good for you, being positive is so much less exhausting than being critical, I salute you!

froogal said...

AHHHH...I love a girl with a positive attitude!
I tried shopping Target for Liberty online yesterday but found that everything I wanted was not available. I will be heading to my local store tomorrow to see what I might score and also also stopping at the post office to pick up a HUGE order of Liberty fabrics that I ordered from the UK...the creative possibilities of this bundle are even more exciting!

Anonymous said...

I was so looking forward to the gardening and house wares from Liberty and planned a shopping trip on Sunday to my nearest Target-2 1/2 hours and one international border away. Guess what? They hadn't gotten around to unpacking most of it! I got an umbrella and 2 nighties but I was so disappointed! They have been advertising this for March 14.I am going to London in May so I will follow your lead and hit up the original store with its' fully stocked shelves!

shananigans said...

I don't normally wear prints, but I am dying here over this Liberty gorgeousness! I wish we could get this Target collab here in Australia.

PS I love your gardent.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

It is amazing how sometimes these storybook image just stay with us and weave their way into a real lives. This was certainly a good one!

And Target....seriously hard to imagine life without them. Probably, more therapist in business. HA!

Sneaky Magpie said...

Your garden is very charming and I really like the fact that it is not over-designed, it feels like there is life there. And the old Underground posters are great, I love going to The Transport Museum to admire their archives.

Apparently Liberty will have a limited selection of the Target collection, I might pop in to check it out.

JaneH said...

I went to Target but all the menswear was sold out - this was at 12 noon Sunday! I did get the following: paisley picture frame, gardening gloves, hat, stationary set, wallet and cute bikini (for teenage daughter), gift bags. Still toying with the bicycle! I am hoping that the shirts will return, they look amazing (the baby clothes were adorable also)

Laura said...

Lisa - You are far too kind! No worries though, I'll drag myself out to the Target in Brooklyn eventually...I just like to complain about it in the interim!

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

There is a Target store on my way home!!

to it i shall roam

pve design said...

Oh what rose colored glasses and tales you weave.
Always something peachy keen here.

Blue said...

I bought the navy shirt and it is wonderful to wear. Lawn is such a fabric for summer - begs to be worn in humid weather!

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