Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mid-winter Trip, 2012

Steve and I recently spent a long weekend trip in the Charlottesville area. We ditched Ally and the dog at Grandma's in Roanoke and immediately celebrated our new childless freedom with french fries at McDonald's.

(Yeah, we don't get out much. We're working on it.)

During our trip we visited James Madison's home Montpelier. There's a walled formal garden on the estate that was renovated in the early 1900s by Annie du Pont, after the duPont family purchased the property in 1901. The garden is beautifully landscaped with sweeping beds, boxwood hedges, symmetrical layout, and marble urns and statuary.

The brick walls surrounding the garden, with the horse stable beyond it.


I'm not a big fan of formal gardens, but I do find them impressive in terms of the landscaping and the effort it takes to maintain all that symmetry. 


Being the dead of winter, there weren't many plants to look at beyond the boxwoods and some other evergreens, but the statuary was impressive.





I'd like to have a pair of these urns, but they're not something you can just pick up at the local garden center.


And then it hit me....we have a pair of matching almond colored toilets that Steve took out of our house. I've been waiting to find the perfect project to use them in this summer! I was thinking about filling them with water and adding some goldfish for a water feature, but now I think I'll fill the bowls and tanks with potting soil and putting in some plants instead. I could have a tall, arching daylilies in the tanks with some nasturtiums spilling out of the bowl. Or maybe a mounding clump of coreopsis in the bowl and some sweet potato vine in the upper tank. The possibilities are endless!

The hard part will be deciding to position the toilets at either side of the entrance to our driveway, or flanking the steps to the gazebo.

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