Monday, November 8, 2010

Urned Bliss

The mowing is done...plants are tucked away in the greenhouse...plates uprooted from the garden paths and washed, stacked and stored.  What's next to be done? Well, with sunshine, blue skies, brisk breezes and leaves swirling and, better still, no crucial football games to be watched today, could there be a better time to change up the garden urns on such a delightful November Sunday afternoon?!  One of our favorite past times, next to acquiring them, is finding a home somewhere on the property for lovely garden urns to help dress up the place.

I bought these two urns from a garden statuary company I do business with, late last spring, thinking they would be perfect for the driveway entrance down at the bottom of the hill.  I had already planted up the existing urns down there so I've been very patient about waiting out the summer to replace them.  I'd always felt that the two cement planters, although very pretty, were a little too bright in contrast with the black board fence.  So, in came the Basset Hall Urns, reproductions straight out of historic Williamsburg, Virginia and made of cast lime stone, also very heavy, but rustic and beautiful, indeed. Yet, every bit, if not more sturdy and weather resistant, because of their cast-lime stone natureBetter still, these lower and wider colonial style urns are also able to hold the tall wrought iron standard forms, originally in the old urns, for added character and decoration
It's a good thing that Peter is even more of a gardener than me and likes garden statuary every bit as much as I do or I would probably be doing heavy garden projects like this on my own and I would not find them as fun to do None the less, he was up for the task at hand which turned out to be a little more than just rearranging urns.  The stone bases also needed a little rebuilding and shoring up before the new urns could take their place as the official sentries of the Blooming Hill driveway.

As heavy as the urns are, we decided that emptying out the dirt would make them a little lighter before lifting them on and off their stone bases and the planting cart.  The existing soil also needed some improvement and conditioning anyway by breaking up the old roots left behind and adding fresh potting soil for future plantings.  I don't remember the old urns being so heavy, but then again, Peter had Kevin home to help him lift these big babies and I directed.  This time, I was Peter's lead assistant while foreman, Tucker, supervised from his usual perch and made it look like it was all easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

Then it was time to walk the large white urns up the hill and place them in their new positions, at the top of the driveway  in the center circle just in front of the house.  Again, not an easy task but we did find the golf cart to be a big help in pulling the planting cart behind the second trip up the hill.  Good thinking Tucker!  Here the urns would compliment the large cement urn set in the center and already planted with a boxwood standard.  

So, now every(urn)body is happy and we look forward to other garden chores like pulling out the dead foliage and leaf debris now cluttering garden beds since the last few heavy freezes, chopping fallen trees into firewood and fixing fences, not to mention a great big bonfire of garden debris collected through the summer.  In past years, the giant bonfire has, sometimes, made for a fun "Christmas Eve" Day ritualDo we like to live on the edge or what?

In the meantime, Peter and I will be nursing our backs, hips and knees back to health and looking forward to Thanksgiving and Kevin's holiday homecoming--his back seems to have cast iron hinges--or maybe it's just his youth that keeps him nimbleWhatever it is, I love the new urns. I love the old urns.  Planted or not, any time of the year, I love urns!  

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