Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Beyond the garden gate.

With the coming of spring also comes the desire to wash windows & woodwork, vacuum furniture cushions and such.  Along with that I also like to change from the warmer earthy tones to airy pastel shades and add more white.  I've had a framed print that I've always liked for it's stately old white home surrounded by prolific rhododendron, azaleas, dogwoods, magnolia, hyacinth, peony and all other heavenly wonderful flowers that only arrive in spring.  No matter where I put it, it always got lost on the wall in a pitiful plain wall flower type homely manner.
I pondered over it again this year like I do every year wondering if I might have the perfect spot for it to bring it to life. " It's such a pretty image", I thought to myself.  "Why can't I make it work"?  It reminds me of a gracious southern well loved federal colonial with it's paladian window and the dappled sun light shining through the trees is lovely.  The flowers are so springy and happy.  It came to me that one of my favorite bloggers, Pat, of Back Porch Musings, made a sweet vignette of her rendition of Charleston remembered.  I knew I had most of the items that would go along with a similar arrangement  that I had in mind.  I would use this as well to remind me of the walks I took with my sister-in-laws, niece and daughter along the cobblestone side streets in Charleston.  I remember well the lovely wrought iron gates to side court yards filled with lush, mossy, cool foliage and prolific flowering plants.  Oh, how we wondered "what lay beyond the garden gate".
So far, this is how it came together as an arrangement.

Join me in a reminiscent stroll of the amazing private gardens of Charleston.

I love the idea of revisiting these private gardens that are so natuaral to the atmosphere of Charleston.  Spring always brings a fascination of  "what lay beyond the garden gate"  by folks who are looking for inspiration and a desire to create their own haven.   The change in spring season is lighter, softer and prettier.  The hyacinths are filling the air so frangrantly.  It gives me that boost of energy to continue on and place a few spring flowers, garden items etc. around  and will serve as my own rendition of "what lay beyond the garden gate" and a happy, peaceful reminder of a great, fun, beautiful trip with the best of company!
Charleston, you are a beautiful city full of thoughts and romance of spring with your fragrant, lush flowering plants, trees, shrubs, verandas, porticos, fountains, stone statuary, gas lights and more.


I  placed a photo of my daughter Jamie and me on the front porch veranda of the Magnolia Plantation sitting on a courting bench.  The idea was that a young couple would sit on opposite ends of the hand made bench and bounce their way to the center of the bench.  Pretty amusing item!

Jamie and me (Kris) on a courting bench on the veranda of the Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC.

I remember so well walking along this path as if it were yesterday.
While in West Milton enjoying lunch with my sister-in-laws and nieces last week, I went across the street afterward to a shop that contains local artists works on consignment.  I was excited to come across a handmade sewing basket.  Along with it was a poster of African young ladies making baskets to sell along with the story explaining a multi generational craft.  Inside the basket was a tag marked  plainly handmade in Senegal.  It was priced reasonably in the $20.00 range.  I knew I would have it and where it would go. 
Another aspect and part of Charleton's history was slavery.  Magnolia Plantation rendered a glimpse into the past and it's participation in lifestyle of a time long gone and learned.

I love it on a shelf in my living room along with the framed photo of Jamie and me while on a trip to Charleston, SC together.  Recently, I had been looking at a basket pretty much exactly like this from an on line site from Charleston as a keepsake from that trip.  I've been dragging my heels on actually purchasing the hand made Charleston sweetgrass basket for it's $80.00 + price tag.  I'm so glad I ran across this basket in my own back yard of West Milton, Ohio.  It's a basket hand made from an african young lady whose mother, aunt or grandmother taught her how to make them using the materials that were abundant around their dwellings.  Sweetgrass baskets were made in Charleston, SC by negro slaves who brought the learned craft with them from their native home and made useful vessels and items out of necessity.  This is the reason I want to have it and display it.  I love the idea of a young girl sitting with her elders watching and learning how to make something with the materials that were provided for them from nature into useful items.  I can imagine the setting being crude yes, but still the basic idea of sitting unrushed with grandmother, mother, baby in his/her own handmade basket,  aunts, sisters, cousins, friends making something beautiful, useful and necessary for their family's survival is heartwarming and endearing.
I'm loving this vignette and the way it's coming together as a spring decoration and happy reminder of a fun, happy, beautiful location.  Wishing you much happiness as well as Easter draws closer this weekend.



Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

When we were in Charleston, I bought two small sweetgrass baskets, at the market. One of them was made by a grandson of the woman, I purchased it from. The art continues.

You are welcome to take the photo, Kris. Thank you for the compliment and for asking.

I found the Easter and Valentine cupcake holders at Michael's.

Happy Easter!

Kris said...

Thank you so much Pat for your generous reply. I love visiting your blog and like to refer to your talent on my blog.
I have a Michael's about 20 miles from me and a Trader Joe's about the same distance. I'm going to have to plan a little road trip to see what's out there. :) Thank you much.
I've managed to create my signature from Now to get it to my blog. :) I love this and learning about it. I only wish there was a catalog to view from and pick out the various things one can add to personalize their blog. It's kind of like pick and peck for me. Thanks for your support and wishing you a very blessed Easter.

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