Yesterday Mark and I were on the road by 9 a.m. in order to be among the early birds on the 12th Annual Mt. Horeb Arts Association annual spring art tour. It was a perfect day and our first stop was as enjoyable as we anticipated. The tour continues today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Details and directions are here. The group has a good website and we found directional signs all along the route.
We began at Chuck Bauer and Chuck Beckwith's Blanchardville farm, a spot that would be reason enough for a drive in the country. An old farmhouse with barns and outbuilding used as studios are surrounded by flowers, lots of spots to sit and enjoy their art and garden objects.
This piece is called "The Bat" and is made of copper.
This garden was the first place we ever saw art made out of bowling balls; in particular a pair of huge pyramids composed entirely of bowling balls. If you leave them out in the elements to weather they lose their shine and many of them develop lichens like this ball perched on a fence post.
Chuck and Chuck always had inspiring bouquets of flowers from their gardens at their shop on State St. in Madison. I was introduced to many a flower via those arrangements. Yesterday at the farm, I spent quite a lot of time walking around and sticking my nose in massive rose bushes covered with blooms and clumps of big old Peonies drooping under the weight of the fat flowers. This is one of Roy Klehm's famed coral peonies, a color break through he developed. Even more stunning in person that this picture conveys, but alas it does not have any fragrance to match its dramatic coloring.
Since we own an oil painting by Chuck Bauer and a watercolor done by his late mother, he sent us a message in advance of the weekend's tour with pictures of what he'd be selling. That was enough for us to make the trip and to bring a checkbook. We came home with another painting — a different seasonal view of the same part of their garden as the painting we already own. Mark succumbed to a little house made out of lead that he's long admired. He put it out in our garden this morning. We hung the painting yesterday as soon as we got home.
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We spent the afternoon with a fellow garden blogger, her husband and daughter. Cindy Goodson blogs at enclos*ure take refuge and Mark and I had met her and her husband, Don, on prior visits to Madison to see their daughter. This time they were on their way back to the U.S. after three years in Stuttgart, Germany. Don is a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service so they've lived in many countries.
It's always lovely to spend time with them and talk gardens, politics, food and travel. If you haven't been to Cindy's blog, do take a look. She writes about gardens wherever she is, but she also focuses on historic and ethnic gardens here, there and everywhere. I never know what I am going to find when I visit her blog, but I always know it will capture my interest and attention.