I grew up with a love of gardens and gardening. My English parents created gardens wherever we lived. We spent a lot of time in our gardens. We maintained them, expanded them, played in them and talked about them. The garden to us was a living entity. 'Shall we walk around the garden?' or 'Have you seen the garden today?' were common phrases.
Weather permitting, most of our meals were outdoors. It might be dinner on the verandah or the terrace, lunch by the pool or cocktails in the grotto.
My father tended his roses and his grass tennis court. My mother had herbaceous perennial gardens and grew small fruits and vegetables.
I believe a garden can have many forms and many functions and should be designed to fulfill its' owner's needs and wishes while respecting the spirit of place. Alfresco dining, kicking a soccer ball, communing with nature or enjoying a wonderful view from a window, gardens are an extension of our living space.
A well-designed garden, enhances life in that hard to define way that art, music can also achieve.