orange_treeTwo years ago, when we were first working on house design, we thought it would be great to have enough light in the new house to grow our own oranges. Not too long before, we’d each begun eating a fresh orange with breakfast, in place of fruit juice.

So we bought an orange tree, put it in a pot, and placed it by a set of west-facing French doors. In the summertime, the tree lives outside those doors, on the patio. It appears to be thriving, growing new shoots often, and blooming several times a year. Little oranges (or “greens” as we call them) form at each blossom. Those grow for a while, then drop off. Clearly the tree is still too young to really produce fruit.

The “green” in the photo is the longest-lasting and by far the largest we’ve had – about an inch and a half in diameter now. We have yet to see if it hangs around long enough to turn orange. In the meantime, we picture our tree in its light-filled spot in our yet-to-be-built living room.

And in the same way, taking our time with the design process has allowed us to imagine ourselves in the new house, carefully “looking at” and thinking through each window, door, wall area, room . . . All good, and we’ve come up with countless tweaks which will enhance the livability of our new home. And yet, we’ve done enough building to know that once we’re living there, we’ll discover so much more. We look forward to the surprise one day of a real orange and of our new home’s personality and beauty.

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