Too Much of a Good Thing
I have been busy packing up and de-cluttering my domicile and came to the conclusion that the amount and type of clutter in my home mirrored the amount and type of clutter in my landscape. Now don't get me wrong you're not going to see me featured on next weeks episode of "The Hoarders" but years of small additions to my family room (a growing stack of gardening books that there was no room for in the book shelves, new knickknacks, and of course those things found outdoors, a cool rock, hummingbirds nest, sharks tooth, ect.) had completely diminished my original interior design. I also suspect that years of building plant collections and compulsive nursery shopping have diminished my original exterior design.
In examining this topic I first tried making correlations between the elements in my interior and exterior design. Here is what came to mind (tell me what you think).
1. Perennials, Bi-annuals, & Annuals = knickknacks, bric-a- brac, curios
2. Hardscape =permanent structures in a room, fireplace, built in shelving/cabinets, flooring.
3. Shrubs and trees= furniture
Then I removed everything from the room which was no small feat but it needed a fresh coat of paint and a good cleaning anyway. The hardscape/fireplace & built-in shelving would remain the same but I opened my mind to changing anything that would ultimately assist in designing a room that would offer interest without clutter.
My next step was to tackle the bones of the room (Shrubs and trees= furniture) which was a lot harder than I thought. I had a couple of big stumbling blocks the first one was admitting to myself and Joe that years ago when I bought this big overstuffed furniture I bought too much of it for a typical Cape style home with smaller cut up rooms. The second challenge was the sentimental factor; the style of a family heirloom has worked against my over-all design as strongly as the sickly Mother's Day Kwanzan cherry tree does in my landscape.
The final step was to be honest with myself about my over abundance of perennials, bi-annuals, & annuals = knickknacks, bric-a- brac, curios. While examining this idea I asked myself one simple question...Why? I discovered that I buy accessories/flowers that I believe will add the element of surprise to my room or garden. Often this means purchasing something for its rarity rather than its contribution to the overall design. This drive to surprise is fraught with challenges, unusual knickknacks and flowers are most often rare for a reason and their presence in a garden or a family room without a connection to the overall design causes them to stick out like a sore thumb and again add to diminishing the overall design.
So as much as it was painful at first I packed up and removed some tables, chairs, a shrunken head, and most difficult of all a whales tooth, and it is like an entirely new room. This weeding process has made me look forward to thinning out my landscape next spring as well as the added bonus of lack of interest in any of the plant catalogs!
Do you see any correlation to the amount and type of clutter between your interior and exterior? kt