I had a chance to visit a terrific ten acre property on Eastside Road near Forestville today. You’re never quite sure what you’re going to find on a place you can’t see from the road, but I have been driving past this secluded driveway for years and have never had a chance to see the house or gardens. First, let me say that you aren’t going to see it all here either. Instead, I’m going to tease you with a handful of lovely details, and let you wonder about what else might be there.
Small details matter to me. This place is filled with deft touches that indicate a deep affection for doing things right. The picture you’re looking at might be hard to make out, so feel free to click on it to see the larger view. What you are seeing is a gently curved piece of wood that serves as a bridge at the pond. Wood has the potential to be very slippery when it’s wet, and the builder has taken the time to carefully insert metal bumps to provide traction. It’s subtle and almost invisible when you’re walking, but it represents a care that is echoed elsewhere on the property.
At the same bridge, there is a lovely railing detail with a curved copper hand cleanly attached to the post. The two side rails are close enough to provide a secure feeling when crossing the bridge and are big enough to feel comfortable in the hand and look correct in the scale of the garden and pond. Again, just the right touch of design sense, choice of materials, and execution to be a fine detail.
The entry courtyard, home of the cactus in the first picture, is also graced with nice details. In addition to the diamond plate cactus, there’s a multi-tiered fountain, and a second small piece of metal art to the left of the gate and a host of fruit trees and flowers. The gate itself has two wooden swinging doors and a bell in the opening in the door that has a melodious gong sound to announce visitors. The whole thing is topped with an exuberant potato vine in a pretty arch. Details make the difference on this Sonoma County Russian River valley parcel.