Tuesday, 22 June 2010


This is more or less what the summer holidays have been like so far for me. My sister is sitting in a 78 year old 'Gravenstein' apple tree that still carries fruit and blossoms in spring, and is half covered by a climbing hydrangea (the tree, that is, not my sister, whose face by the way is covered by an apple tree branch, without that really being my intention when I took the picture). Although she looks quite relaxed, she was a bit scared, and would rather have returned to the books laying on the lawn under the tree.

Behind my sister and the tree is the house my great grandfather built here in 1932, in a mixture of arts and crafts and early functionalism. The architect is unknown, but I'm trying to find the drawings. It was built as a duplex house, almost a sort of mini apartment building, where the apartments shared the cellar, attic and stairway, but it is now a single-family home. The stones on the ground are shale, whereas the foundation wall is clad with granite.

The garden was redesigned by my parents and myself in 2007, and rebuilt in 2008. The old apple tree is one of the few features remaining of the old garden. The pergola over the wooden terrace was by idea when I was around 13 years old, and designed in collaboration with a friend of my father, who also built it.

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