Foxglove Viewing at Cedar Hill

“View the drama of hundreds of blooming foxgloves and tour the gardens. Weed if you want! We can use the help!” This was the invitation we handed to friends a week ago to announce our Foxglove Viewing event. Since we held it on a weekday this year several of our friends couldn’t come. I’ve put together this camera tour just for them!

Partial Garden overview

After a rough ride through the creek bed that passes as our road this was the view that greeted everyone–foxgloves ranging in color from cream to magenta.

Front walk leading to our front door draped in native climber Virginia Creeper.

At the main entrance to the terraced garden this Trumpet honeysuckle (another native) beckons the hummingbirds to drink:

Near the honeysuckle on an east facing wall I’ve massed many of my house plants that enjoy fresh air of living outside all summer:

Heading toward the west side of the house we are approaching my Rusty Rustic Shade Garden:

This is the view out my bedroom window as seen from my sewing spot with the vintage Featherweight perched for all my quilting projects:

Now we are circling through the rustic Shade garden with several stops. Here you must use your imagination to see the remnant of a wood cook stove I dragged back from an abandoned site in the woods. The section of the stove bolted to the base held a two-section warming oven along the top. I’ve turned the whole unit up side down to use to display plants. Can you see it?

In the shadiest corner two elegant Yellow Lady’s Slipper, a native orchid, demand our attention. Two decades ago we found a small colony of these fabulous flowers located behind our house only to have them chewed to the ground by foraging deer. We fenced that struggling colony and watched it come back over time. Our deer fence worked. About ten years years ago we noticed a single seedling escaping out from under the fence. We transplanted it to this spot just in case the deer destroyed the original colony. As you can witness, this Lady’s Slipper has thrived under the careful watch of the painted wooden swan I found beside a dumpster in Fayetteville.

A small glass topped table and three metal chairs stand at the center of the shade garden. At the lower right is a bed of wild ginger, bloodroot, trillium, tiny crested iris, woodland phlox and christmas ferns–all native to these Ozark hills.

This metal grate was a “found object” I was thrilled to find near our turn off from the White River road to our place. Because both this grate and the glass top table are see-through they do not seem to command too much attention visually or overwhelm this small space.

As you can see here, I find myself drawn to all the shades of terra cotta whether rich fabric tones for my quilts or clay pots in shades of terra cotta which can range from pale orange to browns and even reds. Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta derives from the Italian: “baked earth” and from the earlier Latin terra cocta). This is an earthenware, clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous.

Passing the terra cotta grouping and circling back toward the entrance we’re approaching another set of found objects. Walk closer to see the misshaped enamel basin filled with river rocks, soil and a delightful native sedum named woodland stonecrop–love the little green rose-like leaves of this plant that stays green year round and blooms in the spring. Only last week in repairing the bamboo fence that surrounds the shade garden did I find this freshly discarded antler not fifteen feet outside this shade garden. My eye decided that it would be a perfect “handle” here.

We had a picnic in the shade of a huge cedar tree in the back yard. This metal sculpture of a Great Blue Heron, a gift from my long time friend Martha, has lounged there long enough to allow the Virginia Creeper to crawl upward.

You’ve missed the tour of the native plant nursery and exploring the terraces of the vegetable garden, but it was hot and sunny that day so few ventured to those gardens. Therese snapped this photo of my Rat Terrier companion, Zora, as she climbed on my lap as the day ended.

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4 Responses to Foxglove Viewing at Cedar Hill

  1. It was a perfect day! You are an artist in the garden too!
    Seeing and photographing the lady’s slipper and beautiful foxgloves was a treat!
    The leisurely tea party in the shade is a good memory!

    • Paula says:

      Your words are high praise from my early mentor! Only other quilters comprehend the life energy we quilters invest in our fabric creations. Many of the principles I continue to use in my quilting came from you, Lila. The first one I remember came when I was showing you my first finished quilt made using the vintage Garden Twist pattern. When I started pointing out a few “mistakes” in my quilt, you quietly insisted “we don’t need to point out our mistakes, Paula”. Thank you for that helpful attitude.
      As I play and design in the gardens here at Cedar Hill, I’m continually aware of the adage “Repetition makes things go together”. Yes, Roberta Horton wrote about that idea in The Fabric Makes the Quilt (1990s), but you are the one who reinforced the idea for me. As I play I repeat colors, shapes and textures in the plants and flowers. Then I add lots of interesting rocks, seashells, glass and pottery–whatever grabs my attention. Sometimes moss and other surprises add their own personalities.

  2. Iris says:

    Dear Paula,
    Lovely to see you and your gardens. Your own beauty and care of Mother Nature shines through the flowers, plants and found objects lovingly placed throughout.
    Much love to you both,

    • Paula says:

      Iris, Wish you could add us to your travel plans sometime. We have a great cave less than an hour away and lots of hiking along the Ozarks Highlands trail. And we can take you kayaking on area lakes–lots of options. We appreciate your comments about our gardens.

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