Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Trip South Part 1B: Mary and Bob's Secret Garden

We were amazed at the beautiful garden that Mary and Bob created around their home.  Bob is GARDENER EXTRAORDINAIRE and Mary is an extremely talented sculptress who has created a number of beautiful "heads" of animals and also primitive natives that once lived on Sanibel! We just couldn't get enough!  It without a doubt rivals any professional garden we have ever seen  in beauty and design (and we have seen A LOT of gardens).  So of course we had Don busy with his camera so we might make this SECRET GARDEN just a little bit more public! So wander through the garden as we did and experience the beauty of their art.

Another note about Bob's garden before you get into the pictures.  Their back yard backs up to some of Sanibel's nature preserve lands, so where his "garden" ends, nature takes over, although Bob has made the transition a bit fuzzy with his plantings.  Also their yard used to have a bit of open space with grass much like the rest of the homes on the island.  But Hurricane Charlie blew through Sanibel in 2004 and left it and Captiva Island in ruins.  Bob and Mary road out the storm and were lucky in that they live a little way from the Gulf, but they lost a number of large trees, some of which blocked their stairs that lead up to their front door.  Even worse, they were without electricity for almost 2 weeks in the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast.  After the storm debris was cleared away Bob started planting his garden with the intent that the yard would be low maintenance, private, and beautiful.  Shortly after, Mary started taking sculpturing lessons which has resulted in a large number of busts and the two have now been melded together as you can see below.

These next two are looking away from their screen porch into their back yard.

These next three are looking towards the back porch.

Keep in mind that we were there in Feburary.  In the spring and summer many of these plants are in full bloom.

But Mary has added interest with her sculptures that Bob has placed all through this garden.

And here are a few close ups so you can see the quality of Mary's work.

 I think the one above is my favorite.

Just as an added note about Mary's art.  She sculpts these from clay, hollows them out so that the clay is less than an inch thick, let's them dry for weeks and then fires them in an electric kiln. Once all of that is done, she paints them.  I also have to give Bob a lot of credit.  His job is to lower these very heavy but also fragile objects into the kiln so they can be fired, and he is also responsible for "bringing them all in" when a hurricane approaches.  Did I mention Bob will be 80 years old on his next birthday??


Sandy said...

How lovely all of this is, and how accomplished the sculptress!

Lucas said...

I think I like the lion's the best. Something about their ears, furrowed brows and expressive eyes. Really nice and both so different from the other. :) What an amazing garden. Looks like a little hidden paradise. I always marvel at what people can do with gardens simply because I don't have a knack for it. Pretty amazing!

Brandy said...

Wow! What an amazing garden, I can't imagine how beautiful it must be when the flowers are in bloom. The sculptures are incredible, what talent!

smathis75 said...

very talented gardeners AND artists. i'd love to visit sometime!