After nearly three months of relentless rain, every garden, terrace, path, pot and patio have burst to life in a radiant show of greens. California is bathed in brilliant color and Sausalito feels as if it's been painted by Matisse, a convincing stand-in for Collioure with a palette so vibrant and strokes so urgent it just might be a dream. The pink Jasmine that covers the garden walls of our home and climbs its way along the hedges, fences and railings of this little town has burst into bloom, wafting its intoxicating perfume from the top of the hills to the turquoise waters of the marina. First of the season Lilacs are filling the studio with their sweet scent, a taste of nostalgia for the towering purple hedges of our East Coast patio and the years of early morning walks made to my bodgea on the corner of Hudson and Bleeker for these heavenly plastic-wrapped branches and the Sunday papers.
Spring seems all too fleeting, a season long anticipated for a handful of blissful days of picnics and plantings and at last the opportunity to take the long way home or the table for dinner outside. The cyclical sensory deprivation of winter and the blanket of silence and solitude it's muted tones bring never fails to ignite a newfound appreciation for color and life, ignighting a spark of rejoice for even the smallest of buds or echos of birdsong. In both cement cities and rolling countrysides this time of year always leads me to the same place of longing for adventures in nature, for a day trip to gardens with a book or bottle of chablis and a weekend with friends surrounded by nothing but trees.
Over the past few years my intentions for travel have grown to prioritize places and experiences that will leave me replenished as opposed to depleted. The evidence of nature's effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing is profound and I can say I've felt this first hand, seeking green and finding gardens wherever I may be. With this musing and with warmer months ahead, I thought I'd share some of my favorites, big and small, that I've visited this past year as well as a small sampling of bookmarked Airbnbs for retreats near and far.
For the UK: Hassocks, England