This past weekend marked the closing of Historic Virginia Garden Week and we celebrated and worked by being part of the PHilomont "garden" PHair. Luckily, unlike last year, the weather cooperated and the whole town of Philomont was turned out for this "aPHair" with the annual horse show happening just up the road and beautiful May Day baskets adorning various Philomont homes.
The weekend started, for Peter and me on Friday morning when a big shipment of cast stone urns, planters and garden statuary and ephemera showed up just in time for us to unload and unpack then turn around and repack and reload in order to get it up to the PHair...phew!...or should I say, PHew! It was an interesting morning watching these huge and heavy wrapped packs of cast stone items being unloaded as gingerly as we possibly could--just because it's cast stone doesn't mean that it's not breakable. The truck driver was extremely relieved to find out that he didn't have to even try to navigate his 18-wheeler up the s-curve of our driveway. We had already decided that it would be easiest for all to just open the boxes at the bottom of our hill and deal with this shipment from there.
Opening the boxes meant exploding wood shavings that billowed out of the 2 huge boxes like smokey clouds from a fire. As the wood shavings met the air they just seem to expand rapidly and it was hard to even imagine how much the statuary stone company was able to pack into even these gigantic boxes. Yet, the more we unpacked, the more excited we got. Each piece seemed prettier than the last as I imagined how they would look gracing somebody's garden.
The lower part of our yard by the road became a place of great curiosity as cars slowed down to see what, in heaven's name, was going on in the Rinek's front yard. Spring was definitely springing up all over the place there and I was anxious to see what PHair visitors would like, and maybe, buy for their own gardens. We pulled out all sorts of planters from replicas of colonial ladie's slippers to pineapple finials. The cabbages and basket shown here are among my favorite things. Just think how frustrated the rabbits and even those devil deer will be when they try gnawing on that in your vegetable garden! Not only these, but we also have fence post bunnies and birds, flying pigs and leaping frogs on stakes and did I mention the lovely urns?! What you are seeing in these pictures is only the icing on the cake. We unpacked forty-six pieces of garden items out of those two boxes and took only a fraction to this PHair. Want to see more? Stop by Blooming Hill or my booth at upcoming garden fairs. I'll let you know where I'll be.
Saturday morning came and we had finally managed to get ourselves all unpacked and displayed for PHair customers and the cast stone urns and statuary were a hit--also a bit heavy but every pound worth the penny. They certainly added to the lavender, geraniums and live standards along with the pumpkins and vegetables I had for sale, not to mention Peter's beautiful wreaths, paintings and more. It's amazing what you can pack into a 10'x10' booth.We had a grand time talking with our neighbors and meeting new people as well and our booth, as always, was welcoming, colorful and a bit reminiscent of a colonial garden...very fitting for a cool spring day in the Virginia countryside.
There were also other vendors there (18 total) with wares to sell--all, my friends, old and new! Pictured are Lucia Pull and company from the Goose Creek Herb Guild, Nancy with her vintage glassware and dolls, Sue and her very unusual and rare collection of "pocketbooks"--lovely purses made from old book covers she collects and crafts into something every woman finds useful and pretty. There were also other plant and herb growers, flower designers, a professional, certified arborist to answer all of your tree questions, antique dealers, flower designers and even people selling Amish garden sheds. And, I certainly don't want to forget my friends (and garden club cronies) Kim of Loudoun Valley Herbs selling her special blend of lavender water along with fresh-cut flowers and Marsha whose husband fashions whimsical garden accessories out of horseshoes--very clever, indeed.
I can't close this blog entry without at least mentioning the wonderful May Day Baskets on display throughout Philomont. Yes, I know it's a week early but try getting Historic Virginia Garden Week to move to May Day and you'll find it is easier to just ask people to display their creative flower arranging talents around both. These are a few of my favorites. It was a fun weekend and if you missed it, don't worry, the PHilomont "garden" PHair will return next year and the town of Philomont will never go away. Stop by...you are always welcome.