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Friday, August 19, 2011

Charming Gardens at Dad's Place

Just recently I was at my father's house for a visit and I decided to bring my camera along so I could take some pictures of some of his flower gardens, since there's nothing too exciting happening in mine right now!

  One of the first things that you see when you drive up the road to my dad's house is the horse pasture. He recently got some new tenants who are renting out the horse barn on his property and they have lots of horses! His previous tenants only had three.

Several of their horses are palominos. They are very pretty. That's my dad's house in the background. The pasture comes right up to the yard.

One of my favorite things about his house is the big fieldstone chimney.

There is always a massive passion flower vine that grows up the side of the chimney. I have tried to grow one of these, using a cutting from their plant, but it didn't work out for me.

There is more fieldstone on the back side of the house, where the dining room windows look out onto their garden and the woods in back. The house actually sits on a small hill. This deck was new last year, built to replace the old one, which was made of wood and unfortunately had weathered badly over the years and was taking too much trouble to maintain. This new one is made of resin to look like wood. No upkeep needed!

They have a lot of wildflowers in their gardens, in keeping with the somewhat 'rustic' look of the house.


There's also numerous little signs and garden art tucked into corners and along borders. I've always liked this one!

There are also many curious metal objects that are sometimes just decorative and sometimes have a function, like these two metal serpentine stands, which have some kind of vining plant on them. My dad probably made these. He used to always be making stuff from scrap metal, in addition to building things in his wood shop. He isn't able to craft things anymore, which is a shame, since he really enjoyed it. He has FTD, also known as Pick's Disease, which is a degenerative disease often mistaken for Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed about 7 years ago, but has only really began to decline in the last 2 years.

On the front porch in the cool shade, two red Adirondack chairs await you! My dad made these in his wood shop several years ago. He actually made a whole lot of them ( I got two of them, my sisters also got several) and he has four himself. He even sold some, if I recall.

A chippy, shabby antique wash tub on wheels makes an interesting and charming planter!

When it was time to head home, I stopped down by the horse barn, using the old driveway. Right about here was where the original farm house had stood. My father bought this property, some 43 acres, in 1988 when I was a senior in high school. My parents had divorced in 1984 and my father had been living in a rented duplex since then, but he was eager to get back out into "the country" again. This property had once been a large farm but it hadn't been used or lived on in many, many years. The farm house that was here was falling down. In fact, the whole back side of the house had collapsed and  when you walked around the backside of the house, it was like looking at a really big dollhouse, with the front side looking normal, and the back completely open. It was filled with junk too. We did spend some time poking around in the junk, looking for anything interesting. Much of it was old newspapers and magazines. I found a Home Arts magazine from 1939 that was intact and had a pretty picture on the cover that I liked so I took it home and framed it and I still have it. It hangs in my kitchen. I know my dad also found some newspapers and magazines and other things that he kept also. Eventually, he had the local fire department come and burn down the house. It had been an old Cream City brick farmhouse and before it was burned a company came out to buy all the old bricks that could be salvaged for 5 cents apiece. Click HERE to find out exactly what Cream City brick is.

Just behind where the house used to be was an old barn and the silo. The silo was still in good shape, so they left it alone. The barn, however, had long before collapsed. My dad salvaged a number of the old barn beams and used some of them in the building of his house. One of them is used as a mantel shelf on the fireplace in the house. A great number of the barn boards and beams were also sold to other people who had an interest, just like the bricks. A large portion of the southern part of his property is wooded, old hardwoods like walnut, maple, oak, chestnut; just perfect for a man who likes wood and loves the outdoors. Back in the woods he had also found the rusting hulks of two old cars from the 1930s; I know one was a Packard. Surprisingly, there were people who wanted those too; for the parts I suppose. He sold them to a man who came with a tractor and yanked them out of the brambles and thistles.

I made sure to pick some sprigs of lavender from his garden to take home. They look pretty on the kitchen windowsill in my crackle-glass creamer jug.

Thanks for joining me on my visit and  trip down memory lane!
I'll be linking up with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays!



LV said...

I truly enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with you. Your dad has a lovely home and grounds. I love seeing the horses grazing in the pastures. A very interesting and entertaining blog.

Snap said...

Your father's garden is wonderful. I love all the fieldstone at the house. Interesting to read about the history of the farm. Beautiful images of what seem nearly perfect to me ... country, horses, lavender!!!!! Have a wonderful week.

Denise said...

Hi Katie,

Your father has such a nice farm. The horses are beautiful. I really love all the fieldstone on his house, and the lavender is my favorite part of the garden! Your dad certainly has a green thumb and a talent for building things.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for taking time to leave a comment. Have a great week.

Denise at Forest Manor

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your father has a beautiful home and property! Such a pretty place to visit:@)

Bonnie said...

Awesome gardens and lovely scenery! I appreciate all the hard work to achieve these results.

The Tablescaper said...

Oh my, I don't think I could read the last half of your post. My dad was also diagnosed with Pick's. Because it is so rare, upon his death we had an autopsy. The autopsy concluded it wasn't Pick's but actually Alzheimers. Go figure? Either way, it isn't pretty. Hang in there.

- The Tablescaper