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lady-slipper, and a great variety of jack-in-the-pulpit grow and bloom in profusion.
“Downtimes in the garden are in Decem-
ber and January,” Pamela says. “But there is
still interest in the barks, some of which are
beautifully peeling and colored. Then in Feb-
ruary, you start to get the blossoms of blood-
root, hellebores, witch hazel, and toad lilies.
There is no time of year when it is not fun to
look out at the garden.”
The oasis they have created reflects their
travels and taste. “One year,” says Pamela,
“we went to Morocco and were influenced by
their use of blues. We came home and, fortu-
nately for us, the garden centers were full of
blue pots that year.”
Another year they visited South Africa.
“We saw stuff growing in what we would call
miserable conditions,” Phil recalls. “We
learned a lot.”
Their most recent trip took them to Por-
tugal’s Azores, home of Phil’s ancestors.
“We travel in order to visit gardens; then we
bring home ideas. In our garden, we sit in
Marrakech on our purple bench and look at
To one side of the Parisi garden stands an azumaya, a small building based on an original in Kyoto,
Japan. “Azumaya is a Japanese word for ‘gazebo,’” Pamela Parisi says. “In 2005, we decided that we
wanted a screen house to sit in; we also needed a shed to store tools, pottery, and garden seating
over the winter. We had taken pictures of a building we loved when we traveled in Japan. When we
came home, we hired woodworker Dave Carter to build it.”
Guided by those photographs, Carter designed the structure and precut Port Orford cedar into
timbers for it at his Alstead, New Hampshire, shop. In the meantime, Phil Parisi poured the
foundation posts and prepared the site. When the timbers arrived, Phil and Carter assembled the
small building using only mortise-and-tenon joinery.
In summer, the finished
azumaya is open and screened
on four sides and has become a
favorite place to enjoy a balmy
evening. In winter, it is filled with
garden tools and furniture, and is
enclosed with custom wood
panels. The Parisis light the
standing seam metal-roofed
building year-round, so summer,
fall, winter, and spring, it is a
featured work of art in the
landscape and serves as an
aesthetic focal point.
“I have the most expensive
storage shed in town,” Pamela
says with pride.
design decision Sanctum and Storage