Friday, September 23, 2011

Well or Wall?

My garden sweet, enclosed with walles strong- George Cavendish - 1500

Is it Stone Well or Stone Wall? 

 So close I know , so let me clear it up for you.  When my family first moved into our home we were blessed with a very old and very much loved garden. One of the most intriguing features was a beautiful old stone well, crafted by a former owner of limestone and iron.  The well was strictly ornamental I discovered, but I also discovered some fascinating stories told by neighbors and family members of the generations behind me.  The first family to live here, and to build the home, was headed by a young German immigrant who's profession was "Gardener"! Tragedy struck his young family when Typhoid took his wife and two children.  It was always thought that a well on the property was the source, though never proved.  This story made the stone well seem much more than an ornament - and when I searched for a name for my new gardening business, the well seemed to be the perfect thing.

This is my stone well in summer, smothered by ancient trumpet vines,to the delight of the hummingbirds

But what about the Stone wall?

Well (no pun intended) I have one of those also- but it came much later to this garden, crafted by my husband after a trip to England inspired me. It is the perfect backdrop for my collection of old roses, and adds the elements of enclosure and permanence to the garden

A rock pile ceases to be a rockpile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral
-Antoine de St. Exupery

Now, one more word about my identity, I am presently out there with two different names.  I won't bore you with the details, but a simple typo on my part has created a situation that I am working to resolve.  So . . . . I am Stone Well Garden, and Stone Well Gardens.  That silly little "s" is the culprit!  

So bear with me, keep visiting me here, and remember to dip onto your own well of inspiration often!

With Paper and Paint

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caught In the Web

For the bird a nest, the spider a web, for man, friendship - William Blake

The garden holds many surprises for me every day, and late summer is guaranteed to provide a brush with the whisper soft touch of a spider web.  Walking through the garden in the early morning I am often caught unaware by the sudden , almost invisible barrier that has miraculously been constructed during the night before.  If the dew is heavy, the intricate work of the spider's artistry will be dotted with tiny jewels, and if I'm lucky the artist herself will be present. Sometimes I go and fetch my mister  bottle from my art table, then spray the web with a very delicate touch , highlighting all the details without disturbing the web

"Whats so miraculous about a spider's web," said Mrs. Arabele.  "I dont see why you say a web is a miracle - it's just a web."
"Ever try to spin one?" asked Dr. Donan.
Mrs Arabele shifted uneasily in her chair. "No," she replied, "But I can crochet a doily and I can knit a sock!"
                        E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

This image is slightly raised , with white paint on a black art board. The web was misted with the paint and then very carefully caught from behind on the board.
The handwritten note on the back of this vintage piece reads:

– Micrathena spiderweb, collected in the Mackinaw River Valley 8/86

The spider's web has inspired designs and motifs  in every medium, You will find the intricate and fascinating line work in crochet patterns, embroidery, iron work , stained glass, even fabulous jewelry to name a few. and is it any wonder? Just take a few moments to really look at the next web you come across in your garden - really look! You will be mesmerized.

With Paper and Paint

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Sweet and Sticky September

September is National Honey Month

Beautiful Flowers opened their petals generously, happily, inviting the wasps and bumblebees to drink from deep inside their hearts .   --Irene Nemirovsky  Suite Francais

"Easy for you to say" , I can hear the bees buzzing in our ears . . . did you know the honey bee is in danger as the population diminishes?  Every gardener can help by planting herbs and flowers to attract the bees, and by not using the pesticides that threaten their fragile existence.

This beautiful creature and lots of his buddies were enjoying the blossoms of the rustic arugula in the herb garden.  Not wanting to interfere in this glorious display, I promptly abandoned my plans to pull out the wayward arugula seedlings.  Nature knows best! Its good to know when to
 let go and let God.

A weathered bee skep is nestled into the Bee Garden, surrounded by  a burst of brilliant blue at the end of summer with perennial ageratum. Persistant sprigs of chamomile are still appearing at the base of the bloomed out Bee balm.

Like a precious jewel, a jar of newly gathered honey glows amber in the summer sunlight. This is the crowning glory of the honey bee- the royal offering of hundreds of hours of hard work, ours to savor and enjoy! I need a scone!

The Honey Bee and the Bee Hive have been the inspiration for years of pottery and tablewear designs - this is  just a small sampling of my own collection.

The flutter of the butterfly, the humming of the bees, I think there is no sweeter music in my garden than these.

with Paper and Paint

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sweet Spots in The Garden

It is good to be alone in the garden at dawn or dark,
so that all it's shy presences may haunt you and
possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.

-James Douglas (1753-1819)

You have woked hard to create a beautiful place, a place to surround your home and to spend time with family and friends, now it is time to consider another of the garden's most rewarding possibilities - a place to just be alone and not at work

Its not really France, but this little spot is the perfect place to begin your day with a coffee and croissant, and remember the times spent in Paris, or maybe dream of the time you will someday! Some Provencal fabric for the cushions, a few pieces of French pottery,  sit back and let your imagination take you away

Lunch time and you search for a quiet, shady spot like this to enjoy a break in your day.The table is made from an antique iron grate, the vintage chairs are softened with pillows I
fashioned, inspired by the flags of England and France, home to the most inspiring gardens I have visited in the world.

At the end of the day, this would be the perfect spot to relax and unwind, a haven of greenery and cool.  My friend Nancy created this magical place from an eyesore of a stone wall.  With plants, color and bright fabric it came to life again .

A close up view of the stone "Shelves" that are tucked into the vertical wall, a perfect opportunity to arrange your favorite potted plants and garden accents. Change it out whenever the moods strikes and have fun all season long .

Whatever the season, whatever your style, and whatever your garden offers, look for that little spot that says "sweet" for you, and take the time to make it yours alone.