My Room with a View

Posted on April 25 2017

24 years ago we bought a house with a half acre rolling landscape. I convinced my husband Dave, (an avid gardener and landscape architect) that he would never find another opportunity to have a bucolic backyard in this part of town. It was down the street from a lake and 10 minutes from downtown Dallas. At our previous home I had gardened a fair amount but this landscape was daunting to me. My husband started by creating outdoor rooms while I obsessed about the indoor rooms. 

My studio is at home and has a wall of windows overlooking the garden so it is always in my peripheral vision. It took many years before I realized the impact this plant library was having on my work. While my jewelry references organic forms, it is not a literal representation of nature -  it's more like an allusion or homage to nature. Sometimes when I'm struggling with an idea, I'll walk in the garden trying to get clarity and see a trailing vine that probably was the genesis of the piece I'm working on even though I'd never made the exact connection between the two. I'll cut the vine and put it up on my wall to remember the quality it has that I'm trying to capture. My love of stylized plant forms also harkens back to my reverence for Matisse and Ellsworth Kelly and their exquisitely simple plant drawings. 

The February/ March issue of Garden and Gun Magazine did an article on our garden. I'm posting this a bit after the fact but it gives a sense of my work environment. I'm also posting the view from my studio door because it is what I see when I look away from my worktable and reboot my brain.

My view

1 comment

  • Irene Peters: May 12, 2017

    Dear Julie,

    We met briefly a long time ago – in 1997, I believe, when David created a blueprint for our garden in Carrollton. During the process David invited us to your house and garden and I have fond memories of that visit. By the way, when I called him to arrange for a consult, his initial response was: “Carrollton?? Nobody ever wants anything (garden-wise) in Carrollton!”

    My husband and I followed David’s blueprint and created a wonderful oasis for ourselves in the middle of suburbia. A few years later we received an invitation to visit your newly redesigned garden. I am sure it has changed considerably since then, but to this day when I imagine the perfect, peaceful garden with wonderful views from every angle, and magical garden rooms everywhere, I think of your and David’s garden. I am not surprised that this place served as an inspiration to you.

    My husband and I moved to Germany, my home country, two years ago and while we are very happy here, one of the toughest things to leave behind was our garden, thanks to David’s creativity many years ago.

    Final note: I had planned to get a bronze Caviar ring from your collection before we moved but ended up being too overwhelmed by the intricacies of an oversease relocation and forgot. I still plan on getting one when I return to the U.S. for a visit… :-)

    Best wishes from Berlin, Irene

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