Showing posts with label lawns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawns. Show all posts

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Like most people I'm a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, but he's not above making mistakes.  Nobody is.  I thought it might be fun to review some of his faux pas.

Let's face it. A lot of his chairs don't look very comfortable.

Some of the worse offenders are his plywood chairs, like the one above. This chair is missing its cushions, but even so....

For a time Wright fell in love with plywood and used it to make visible walls even in his upscale houses, something few modern architects would do.

A more serious problem is his lack of interest in bedrooms and kitchens.

Here's (above) a Wright bedroom. It's a living room with a bed in it.  Taken alone it looks great but imagine a whole house where every room is a living's just too much of a good thing. I see homes as a confederacy of different moods and purposes, the way nature itself is.

Here's another bedroom. It feels like a family room or a study that's doing double duty.

Here's a kitchen that also looks like a study. You get the feeling that the man never spent much time in kitchens.

Lots of people think of landscaping as an art form but the subject seemed to bore Wright.  All he seemed to want around his houses (above) was a nicely mowed lawn. 

His low-budget Usonian houses seemed all the more stark and unappealing on the plain lawns. 

Does anything I mentioned diminish the architect's stature in my eyes? Nope. Not a jot.  He's still the greatest builder of homes that I'm aware of.  I only mean to point out that nobody's ever perfect, not even the greatest geniuses.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


I don't know what kind of house I'll end up with. I'm hoping that I can find something the town eccentric used to live in, or a house made from a barn or an old workshop. If so, I can have a living room like the one above, which is a place to work as well as relax.

I love the way the loft creates a dark shadow space which makes for a great contrast with the white light in the rest of the room.

 In my fantasies the town eccentric also left behind a large, cozy, old-fashion kitchen like the one above.

 Of course there's some nice modern kitchens, too.

I have a lot of books and papers so a hallway like this one (above) would be much appreciated.

It would be nice to have a lawn with old-growth trees in front. I'm a big believer in front gardens rather than front lawns.

But what am I talking about? I can't afford the kind of architecturally sophisticated house you see above. The likelihood is that I'll end up in a tract house that simply has more square footage than the place I'm living in now. *Sigh.*

Well, the one thing I can afford to control is the lighting. Wherever I end up rest assured that it'll be lit like a Hollywood set. It'll be a place to park the lamps I've been accumulating over the years.

How do you like the hanging lamp above? It's a one-of-a-kind item I got from a library book.

Friday, June 26, 2015


This post is going to make amateur gardeners mad.  I'm not an amateur gardener myself for the simple reason that I don't know enough to be an amateur. Even so, I have my opinions:

Q: "Is this (above) a beautiful lawn?"
A: "NO!!! It's a neat lawn, which is not the same thing!"

This is a beautiful lawn! Beautiful lawns require trees and interesting borders.

Q: "Are these plants (above) beautiful?"
A: "NO!!!!! The flowers are beautiful but the stems are gnarly. Not only that but they're often planted far apart with awkward, empty spaces inbetween."

I never plant roses myself because the stems are so unappealing but I get an idea of what works from seeing what other people do. It's easy to see that rose bushes need to be closer together and the ugly stems need to be covered by shorter plants  (or maybe miniature roses in containers). It's true that roses produce more flowers when they have lots of room, but they still do okay with less space.

BTW: the purple flowers above aren't roses but they're close enough to illustrate my point.

Q: "Can a fence save a drab lawn?"
A: "NO! No fence can compensate for an ugly lawn, and some fences are downright ugly."

If you feel the need to separate your house from the street try a small retaining wall like the one above. You'll need a couple of truckloads of dirt and some old bricks. 

Q: "Will a garden of winding paths through little green balls satisfy?"
A: "NO, not unless you have fantasies of being a giant who stomps hapless villagers." 

'Nuff said.