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CritterPainter's Blog

Various ramblings of a country gal


My garden wedding 20-odd years ago

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:22 pm

DH and I met on an island when I was just 18 (a story for another time) so it stands to reason that we couldn't have anything but the most romantic wedding possible.
We decided on a summer wedding- the end of July, when some of my favorite flowers are at their peak. But where? Our little startup church was still meeting in a rented auction hall, not very romantic. Turns out a friend from that church had a very large backyard- and had always wanted a gazebo! So while I was up in the San Juan Islands, fulfilling my commitment to complete my second season of being a park aide there, my sweetie was busily helping our friend build a gazebo. He would mail me things from time to time, not just letters but a photo of the tuxedos that he and the guys were renting, and a dozen roses sent via ferryboat from San Juan island to Lopez island, where I was working. (I had to walk down the dock in my uniform to pick them up, and everyone on the boat watched me cry!). When I got back, folks were expecting a mad rush- I think there was actually some disappointment when I decided on only the fourth dress I tried on. Why not? It was perfect. And I'd dreamed since I was a little girl of a long flowing veil. So a friend of my moms, a seamstress by hobby, sewed tiny seed pearls all down the flowing length of tulle.
Most of our friends were young and broke, so we put together masses of sandwiches and salads. And another friend, a professional cake baker, gave us a great price on a very complicated cake- big enough that anyone who wanted to could take some home.
I had saved all the petals from all the flowers my sweetie had given me while we were dating, mixed them with the petals from the dozen roses, and a little girl we were very fond of threw those for us.
We were heading up the little youth group at the time, and a very talented young man and his sister performed the music. If you listen to Christian music at all, his name is Darrell Evans and he's a truly gifted guy, several albums out now and his songs often pop up on the list on Sunday morning. Very fun to see.
When we finally tore ourselves away, we left in another friends vintage Cadillac, then drove to the train station to catch a long ride to our honeymoon destination, the very romantic Bay area of California (where DH grew up, but having only once been out of my home state, seemed like another planet to me!)
Yes, the sun shone all day. And it wasn't too hot. And birds sang during the ceremony. Maybe I remember the day through rose-colored glasses, but isn't that how a garden wedding should be?

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My dream house

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:34 am

It would have a tiny footprint, just large enough to have room for friends around. A basement to hide my junk. With a friendly, sunny kitchen and one of those glass-surrounded laundry rooms where the garden seems to be constantly peeking in to see what I'm up to. And the birds come close, so used to my being there that they don't even startle at the sight of me. Right off that porch would be a huge knot-garden with all my herbs & veggies neatly contained in their raised beds- two or three kinds of sage, thyme and marjoram in the pathways, tomatoes in the corner beds, and rosemary flanking the three exits. A stone path would lead around either side to the front garden. The house is on a little hill, so the front garden gently slopes away toward the sunrise. It has lithodora flowing down over large rocks scattered on the hill (brought up from the river that flows past the bottom of the hill, this garden has completely stoneless soil!) and miniature fruit trees scattered around the edges- the soil is so good that they produce big healthy fruit every year. There are violets lining all the paths through this garden, and the paths are either bark or stones with Irish moss in between. Strong, healthy, aged lilacs give form to this garden, shading the house and the tiny, two-chair gazebo that is surrounded by ferns. There's a little firepit tucked away at the bottom of the slope, screened from the house by a giant oak and a scattering of rhododendrons. The pit is dug into the ground and lined with a stone mosaic set in concrete, just right for marshmallow toasting. The other bottom corner is a pond full of goldfish, in the same mosaic-pebble, and still watertight despite being build long ago. It even has a tiny island in the middle, with a glass-mosaic turtle perched on it. And weeping cherry trees scattered along the edge.
All three sides of the garden have arched gates going out- the bottom one with a forged-metal sunrise in the arch over it and honeysuckle in sunrise colors, the other two are wood with purple clematis over the northern one, and yellow climbing roses embracing the other. Outside the garden is a huge old sturdy barn, big enough for my old truck Daffodil, my riding mower, and all the tools in a rust-free environment. My painting studio is out back, and other than being heated and insulated, is identical to the one I have now. It's just a walk through the herb garden. The whole place is surrounded by a deep grove of oak trees around the outside. And of course, this house is in Camelot so it only rains at night and the sun shines every day!
There now, a nice bit of escapism as the rain comes down on my poor frost-damaged plants struggling to survive in the rocky ground!

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