Friday, January 14, 2011

Garden Whimsy in Kodachrome

I have been digitizing Kodachrome slides. Hundreds of garden photo's from my past. 

A fun winter thing to do.

This is a photo I had completely forgotten taking.

This is a garden I maintained for many many years in Hillsboro, VA for sculpture artist Laney Oxman. 

Her husband Michael is an architect. 

For their daughters wedding they designed and built this pergola, in their meadow along Goose Creek. 

Each figure holding up the roof represents a member of the family with their pet pugs at the base.

On this particular day she had placed a statue of a ballerina in the pergola.
Pergola on Goose Creek

Laney's garden was the perfect garden for me. It had a walled in formal boxwood garden with ancient statuary and formal bed lines. 

Laney always found ways to add her whimsical art into the garden that always made you do a double take.  It was as though while we worked we were being observed by whimsical alien beings....

I had known the Oxmans while growing up in Reston, VA. Their daughter was a dance student of my mother. I had taken her pottery classes as a child. I loved her pottery, fascinating whimsical characters even then.  

I grew up and moved to Loudoun and many years later I was helping the folks next door to Laney's with their landscape plan.  While there, I was standing on Laney's wall and admiring her garden bones, but it a was really, an overgrown mess full of dying roses. All of a sudden Laney (Probably wondering why I was staring at her garden) Came out to talk to me. 

We quickly realized we knew each other and I described what I was doing there. She asked if I could help her in her garden and I quickly agreed.  It was a bit of amazing syncronicity, but things work that way quite often in my world. The garden really needed me.

From then on even after I moved to North Carolina, Laney, Michael and I would manage the garden.  Along with artistic insight, it was Michael's job to grumble about the cost.
Laney and Michael had no time to do a thing in their own gardens because they were incredibly busy doing their talents in the world.

They loved their garden, but were easily overwhelmed by it. Every year or so she would call with an emergency request asking if we could get the garden ready for a photo shoot for Middle Atlantic Magazine or other publications that were featuring her work. I love nothing more that staging a garden for a photo shoot. I am sure that is how the ballerina got placed in the gazebo. 

I can't seem to find the photos of her swimming pool, with the patina pug dog lifting it's leg in the tall grasses by the diving board. But this was the privacy fence she created. 

Art and gardens show each other off in such delightful ways!

No comments: