The Crafty Gardener
Art makes a Chadds Ford garden bloom with the totally unexpected.
(page 3 of 4)
Unusually large for hand-thrown pieces, the pots “take a whole day to make with a potter’s wheel and about 60 pounds of clay,” says Paul Romanick, who created the pieces with his wife, Tonya. They own Romanick Pottery in Newark.
A metal dragonfly by Bell hovers over more of his flowers in the meadow. A set of boulders by Greg Wenz, a former art professor at the University of Delaware, were his last project before moving to Arizona.
The rocks, named “No More Biting, Scratching or Kicking: Goodbye to Academia,” were actually kicked, bitten and scratched by Wenz. His motivation? Boredom. “In academia, everything was always the same,” he says. “Life is too short not to be enjoyed.”
Hess bought the rocks for $800 at the Brandywine Arts Festival in 1994. She gave her daughter, Debra Hess Norris, a small Wenz piece, which, ironically, sits in Debra’s office at the university.
Hess enhances blooming shrubs such as azaleas and dogwood trees with glass. Sadly, the fungus anthracnose is threatening indigenous dogwoods, so Hess is forced to spray hers with a fungicide in late spring, after the trees have bloomed.
Hess is an expert, but neophytes can enjoy creative gardens, too. Start small, says Hess. Buy a birdbath. “They come in all shapes and sizes at Home and Garden Culture in Kennett Square.”
Christian Tauber, landscape designer at Old Country Gardens in Wilmington, advises clients to mix white flowers with bright and shiny artwork. “White is elegant and blends with all shades and textures of perennials,” he says.
Choose perennials wisely. “If you’re using art, learn what the foliage looks like before and after the bloom,” Tauber says. “Surround art with a healthy mix of indigenous evergreen shrubs and trees.”
Page 4: The Crafty Gardener, continues...