Wednesday, October 4, 2017

THE MAN WHO DREW ON NAPKINS

On Sunday we attended a tribute to the architect Dick Clark at the Paramount theater in Austin. He was the man who gave us the wonderful spaces in which we built our gardens.


He was known for scribbling his ideas on napkins and even when he was in MD Anderson in Houston he asked for a pen, no paper, he had a napkin handy. Until the end he was designing.


He changed the face of Austin with his modern design specializing in both commercial and residential design. Our little house may have been one of his smallest projects but he didn't turn us away as many others might have.
We gave him a brief. We want to garden deer free and wanted to walk out to the garden from every room; two bedrooms, a study, a large living room with open kitchen, and no powder room. But the main thing was the garden spaces around the house. We could never have even dreamt of the design he came up with.


A house like this, and smaller versions with shed and metal roofs, is commonplace today but back then it was really out of the norm. We did worry about the front facade but we put our faith in him and made few changes to the original plan.
When the builder left we faced a pretty daunting challenge, but it was what we asked for and now our work was to begin. We have just a few photos of those early days taken before digital cameras.





Hardscape came first. We bought a cement mixer and lugged stone from other parts of the lot. We created patios, dry stone walls, decks and paving stones. It has been a 17 year project so far and as every gardener knows the work is never done.





Thank you Dick. You made our dreams come true and we love the sun-filled house and garden spaces you created for us.

14 comments:

  1. What a lovely tribute. So interesting to see those early photos. And the aerial view as I've never quite figured out how you garden was laid out. My sister-in-law recently framed the napkin "plan" that a friend drew for a remodel of her house. A very special memento.

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    1. I suspect many ideas are drawn on napkins over a glass of wine and dinner in a restaurant.

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  2. What year were the extreme "before" photos taken?
    The overhead view of your home/gardens is so very helpful, but it's made me realize that you have more spaces than I knew! I thought some of them were different views of the same areas, but they're not! :)

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    1. They were taken in 2001 just as we were getting started.

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  3. How wonderful that you had the opportunity to collaborate on the design of your house and the template for your garden, Jenny. Your early photos are fascinating. You've done a magnificent job with the garden space.

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    1. Yes, we were fortunate. But Dick did all the design. I think that he created the spaces within the house after he drew up the idea for how to enclose gardens. What a master he was.

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  4. What a wonderful house! I love the overhead view of the the house and garden and all of the fabulous hardscape.

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  5. Beautiful to see your home and garden from above. How did you manage it? With a drone? It's also interesting to hear how your house was designed, and what a nice tribute to the architect.

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    1. Thanks Pam. Our neighbor has a drone and took some pictures yesterday. I am going to have him do some shots in the spring, possibly some closer views. He didn't ask to do these so he probably didn't want to get in too close. I'm glad he didn't catch us up on the roof the day before. That would have been funny though.

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  6. That's so cool--he was doing what he loved to the last possible moment Good for him! And your home and garden are so beautiful. A life well lived, a garden well crafted.

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  7. What a wonderful look at your home and garden spaces and the man who created them. A great match of client and creator!

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  8. I love the angles of the house and how it creates all these great garden spaces! How wonderful that you were able to collaborate with him! And you have done such a great job turning those garden spaces into things of beauty.

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  9. Jenny, this post really hit a nerve with me: I love having the aerial view & being able to better orient myself as I imagine wandering blissfully through your gardens, but oh, those photos of "before" brought back similar memories of our own post-construction wasteland. You have a head start on us of 8 years, so I will cling to the hope that we can eventually achieve at least a semblance of the paradise you and David have created out of literally nothing! :)

    Hope to see you this weekend, when you are sure to find me a babbling wreck held together by lidocaine patches...pray for nice weather & NO RAIN!

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  10. A nice tribute and post. It looks like a wonderful journey.

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