Not all Blooms Have to be Real
My post today is a little about our Garden Walk this year. I have been a proponent for keeping the Garden Walk new and fresh for visitors. Since we are only one block long with about 50 homes participating (outstanding concentration of gardens), I believe we have to have new things for visitors to see that have not been shown previously. Pretty basic thinking.
So this winter, I decided well in advance to create ornaments for my garden that directly related to the garden itself. I wanted to produce some art outside my area of expertise and learn a new craft. I took up stained glass making. By the very generous nature of some very dear friends of mine, they gifted me much of the materials necessary to produce my glass works at home in my leisure. This couple is the talented duo that designed the Fiesta Garden. If you did not see this post, it was a fine example of ingenuity and craft.
Not all Birds Need to Fly
Came and Copper Foil Garden Ground Stake
Lucky for me, there was a very talented stained glass artist living in my area. I signed up for classes at Gleam & Glimmer Glass Studio in North Tonawanda, New York. Suzanne, the owner, was very experienced at her craft and a friendly woman eager to see her students succeed. And I was diligent. Many cut fingers later, I produced some pieces that I could use in the garden.
As an artist/designer, I drew my own patterns. From this I learned from many mistakes. Sure, I could have made more refined stained glass using existing patterns, but I learned much more designing my own. I also made it a bit challenging for Suzanne in the process, but like I said, she is a very patient teacher. And she needed to be for my next project.
Not all Doors Need to be Ordinary
It took me some time to complete the door panels, but I had a good reason in the Garden Walk for making them. Don’t hesitate to coordinate your landscape with your home, you might be surprised at the overall picture.
There are so many ways to create a cohesive design, and color and repetition are but two elements of design. Some methods are not as obvious as my projects. Since they were for Garden Walk 2010, I could go all out for this year. Next year I will have a different display unless work is so hectic that this can not be done. I do have years like that.
The paint color on the door is Sherwin Williams ‘Lobelia’. I know this is quite literal considering the lobelia is planted in the bed, but it makes a cohesive design on the small property. Colors in the glass translate to the flowers planted. I looked high and low for blue poppy this year, but no seed was to be had. I would have had another literal connection. And believe me people noticed even without the poppies.
I made a variety of projects this year, from sun catchers, to plaques, to plant parasols, to welcome signs. Here are some of my crafts. And by no means am I a craft’s woman. I like to build things and paint things, but general crafts, I am not the one to come to for advice or technique. I go with what I think, not necessarily what I know. Lots of trial and error. I was just happy my crafts turned out as well as they did and am lucky to have a few real crafters who are always ready to answer questions.
The plant parasol is one of four that shade my miniature roses in the 90 degree heat of summer. The idea to paint them came from the dollar store finds in blue. I just painted black and yellow. BTW. Not such a fun project. Painting them like poppies took much longer than anticipated.
Greet your guests with a hand painted, original sign. Keep the theme simplified and intact if you like. Here are two simple graphics that I created, one for the front and one for the rear property. Really, it was because I was not so fond of the sign with the hummingbird. I used the graphics from the windows and it did not translate as well as I thought. Take some inspiration, do your own thing, have fun, and make your Garden Walk something special. Garden Walkers will notice.
Not all Signs Need to Advertise
Welcome, Welcome Garden Walkers
If you are local to my area and want your garden ornament to be your own, check out Gleam & Glimmer Glass Studio. You will be glad that you did. Suzanne has a beautiful store where you can purchase pieces by the master, herself. Tell her Donna sent you.