So this summer I discovered a gardening book I just loved. Truthfully I have not enjoyed a gardening book as much in easily twenty years. The book is called Suzy Bales’ Down to Earth Gardener.
Anyway, I had found this book completely by accident and bought it on a whim. I am so glad I did. It was like this author was speaking to me directly and got how I gardened. And the author happened to like a lot of the same plants as I did, including David Austin English roses. I have a friend whose David Austin English roses have move with her she loves the so much, but I digress.
So I have this rose I planted last fall on a whim when I found it on sale at a local nursery – Del Vacchio’s on 352. It was supposed to be a shrub so I planted it adjacent to a walk. Well, it has developed a far more rangy habit and I was faced with either a rigid pruning or moving it. I did not really want to move it. Something in Mrs. Bales’ book as far as her approach to roses made me think – she said she lets her roses grow how they want, so I thought “why not?” and ordered a topiary form for the garden. The form arrived a few days ago and I put it up. So simple a solution and it so works!
This is part of the fun of doing your own garden– you can try your ideas out and it’s much more cool (at least to me) than walking around after some random landscaper has put their commercial version of your vision to work. It is just more satisfying.
So today I was almost ready for a truss by the time I got it in place, but I finally found the garden bench I had been searching for. I wanted a small to medium sized vintage concrete or wrought iron bench for a corner that is a little wild but felt right for a contemplative spot.
I have been looking and looking and looking. These vintage benches are not only hard to come by but darn tasty in price most of the time. I have had dealers and pickers and flea market pals on the hunt. Saw a heavy white but slightly shabby chic cast iron bench at Brandywine View Antiques but it was a little wobbly and priced too high for me considering the wobbles. You see I wanted a bench that I could experiment with, but not too dear in price if it only lasted through a few Chester County winters. From a practical standpoint, there is only so much garden furniture I was to shift, store, and cover.
Well this afternoon on a whim I stopped at Resellers Consignment in Frazer. They get a lot of odds and ends of all types of garden furniture in all the time. A couple of weeks ago they had some really large concrete garden benches and I didn’t get them….because they were more than the price I had in my head that they should be and big enough that I had no clue how I would move it off their sales floor.
So outside I saw a bunch of great looking vintage wrought iron furniture and so on outside e front door and wondered if I would just end up with a mesh backed garden bench that I would somehow have to find room to store over the winter, but the little bench I saw was part of a pair and well I definitely did not want to store a pair. One of the owners was on site and offered to split up the pair, but then he said “well I do have one old concrete bench that is a little beat up that hasn’t made it onto the sales floor.”
Music to my ears!!!!!!
He showed it to me and it was love at shabby chic bench. I never wanted anything new, I wanted something I could plop in my garden today, yet had the look of belonging there for years and years. The price was right too: $40 because it did have a little mend in the seat.
So I hauled it home and maneuvered it into place. Somehow I managed on my own although I shouldn’t have. I have my bench! I have plans to plant daffodil bulbs around the cement bench “legs” and I think in a year it will be like the bench has always been there.
I get so much satisfaction from my garden. It is a simple pleasure, yet so rewarding. Try a little gardening. It is so good for the soul !