Saturday, April 11, 2015

Magical gardens: Wrought iron and pallets make beautiful bed-fellows in whimsical garden

I sip a glass of blackberry wine and survey my garden.
One flower bed slopes comfortably like an old patchwork quilt flung on a feather bed, but is filled instead with flowers and vegetables.
Ornate wrought iron bedposts surround and protect the little patch, reminiscent of a Victorian tea, and make me feel like throwing a tea party.
A makeshift pathway winds through the beds, made from some pieces of an old deck. Tomatoes and eggplants grow between the slats of re-claimed wooden pallets, along with hot peppers, broccoli, leeks and parsley to freshen the breath.
I have to admit I feel an inordinate sense of pride and accomplishment.
Borne from a Facebook post I remember sharing in the depths of winter, (and wishing for!)... that showed a super nifty idea - skid gardening, which appealed to me as it means almost no weeding.... to another favourite oldy-but-goody idea using wrought iron bed frames for garden bed trellises, this spring I hauled in some dirt by wheelbarrow, arranged my skids and bed frames... Add some really neat decking (thanks to the next door neighbour) and Voila! We have created a garden sanctuary!
Ornamental bottles and decanters that I have been carting around in boxes for years and that thankfully nobody actually purchased in my last yard sale sit ontop the skids, peeking through the plants with flashes of gold and crystal, adding a touch of glamour to the whole scene.....
An old fishbowl is my 'water feature' as I laughingly call it, complete with a mermaid castle and a floating solar ball inside it. A slightly dented old tiffany lampshade sits atop the stump of the tree that was hit by lightning last month, and looks magical when lit from within by candlelight.

Fairies adorn the garden, and a tiny china tea set lends a whimsical touch...yet practical too as the bees and butterflies come to drink out of these diminuitive cups and saucers.
Solar lights twinkle as dusk falls, lighting up the garden one by one with magical rainbow hues, while tea lights amongst the cabbages and coriander create enchanting shadows.
Windchimes tinkle in the breeze, hanging from the old walnut tree that shades the garden, along with a blue blown glass ball and star shaped ornaments that twirl in the breeze.

What do we make with our hands these days? I watch the tomatoes grow, breathe in the sun-drenched air. Today I can tell you with great joy that I made a garden with my own two hands as I sit back on my reclining chair, inhale the scent of the fresh green herbs and the flowers, and bask in the glow of a sense of accomplishment.

In the fall we will have pumpkins and ornamental gourds to decorate the house with, but for now I will listen to the drone of the ciccadas and perhaps dream a little dream as I doze in the warm afternoon sunshine.
'Just living is not enough,' said the butterfly.'One must have sunshine, freedom,
and a little flower.

gardening quote  by Hans Christian Andersen

Michelle Devlin is based in Barrie, Ontario Canada

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