Variations on a Theme: White Picket Fences

Blue house with different style of picket fence

If you live where white picket fences are traditional, you might be forgiven for thinking they are much of a muchness, but to my English eyes, they seem sweetly evocative and almost quirky. For years, a shot of roses tumbling over and around a white picket fence topped my Photography Wants List: the American version of a cottage garden with roses around the door.

While my sweetheart was trying to decide what style of fence he wanted last year, we paid extra attention. During a couple of days spent in Florida, a gardener suggested we visit a neighbourhood for inspiration, between Seagrove Beach and Seaside, where different styles of white picket fence sit companionably alongside each other. While I didn’t fully satisfy my rose cravings there, I saw just about every style of picket fence I could imagine. I hope you’ll forgive me for sharing some of them here. Continue reading “Variations on a Theme: White Picket Fences”

Cooper-Young Annual Garden Walk, 2022, Memphis, Tennessee

Blue bottle tree with red rose

We recently visited Memphis for one of the most eagerly anticipated gardening events in the American South: two days where 90 or so private gardens in the historic Cooper-Young district of Memphis throw open their gates to band-wearing members of the public.

While a suggested route took in many of the highlights, as first-timers, we decided to explore each quadrant as fully as we could. That’s not a light undertaking – Cooper-Young claims to host the largest garden walk in the Mid-South. If there’s one with a better mix of gardens of all styles and skill levels, or a more welcoming one, I want to see it. Continue reading “Cooper-Young Annual Garden Walk, 2022, Memphis, Tennessee”

Reflections on Glass: Fräbel in the Garden

Glass clowns in different postures by Fräbel
The Cavorting Clown Fountain

Clowns helter skelter after each other in what, we sense, ought to be an ordered line, but just isn’t. Embodied verbs, they pose, plunge, stumble, balance, strut, slip, bow and clamber, one or other body part defying gravity in that frozen moment to anchor the whole. Straight backs lend them dignity even as they take risks and cavort. We’re in the whimsical world of flamework glass artist, Hans Godo Fräbel, as seen at the Naples Botanical Garden, Florida, earlier this year.   Continue reading “Reflections on Glass: Fräbel in the Garden”