Some years ago, I was waiting outside a historical building for my sweetheart to finish a landscaping consultation when a gentleman approached. He urged us to take a look at his woodland garden, just a few streets away, even if we only had a few minutes.
He explained that his wife was an artist and together they had creatively customised what they hoped would be their forever house. We had a busy day ahead but his enthusiasm was infectious and I felt curious.
At the time I was just getting my head around the things Americans did in their gardens – the people my sweetheart knew, anyway. So, as you see, we took up the invitation. From the hand painted door mat (“Welcome to the house of my dreams”) to the fairground horse, to the door on the road to nowhere, to the flower power bench underneath the coffee cup tree, the house and garden were full of individual touches.
The English plant flowers, shrubs and trees in their gardens, add a couple of stone planters around the main entrance for decoration and think they’ve gone out on a limb if they hide a gnome somewhere. Americans always seem more empowered to do their own thing.
The midday sun was streaming through the shade wherever it could make its way through the tree canopy and the silhouettes of leaves add a felicitous extra layer of decoration to the tiled barn.
There were bottle trees of course (this is Mississippi) and a bottle tree chandelier I’ll save for another time. Bottle tree connoisseurs will find details to admire: the one on the left is a neatly finished wooden snag with nails or rebar to support the bottles; the pair on the right are metal, twisted to create an organic shape. I love the colourful glass bottles, being a bit of a magpie. If you look more closely at some of these pictures, you’ll find more surprises – a birdhouse, a mosaic path, hand painted uplighters…
Even the old wheelbarrow was painted and cheerier for it. It looks as if they’ve been too busy accessorising the garden to do much bicycling, unless that vine is more vigorous than it looks!
I believe this gorgeous stained glass door panel was made by the artist too. I left with the impression of a fulfilled couple, making the most of the freedom we should all have to express ourselves any way we want in our own spaces – if we dare to take it!
Shared for the weekly photo challenge: Surprise.
I wanted to credit the owners so I’m glad to learn that their names are Dottie and Andy Armstrong.