"Spring Fling 2012" in Asheville, NC. It was three full days (with 85 other garden bloggers) of touring gardens from the impeccable and productive to the visually masterful and curated to Wamboldtopia, which defies description. Located on Wambold Street, the garden belongs to an artist, Damaris, and a stone mason, Ricki, that thinks he's a pirate. More posts on the garden and skeleton-oriented masonry in the future, I promise.
There were hundreds of clever & fanciful uses of found objects as art throughout the hillside garden, but I think this was my favorite feature. The dragon of rusted metal wheels and gears crawls along the front stair to the property, escorting scaliwags and scoundrels to the main house and upper gardens.
There were so many other things to see (fairy castles, skulls, artwork in the masonry, plants, fairy portals, statues found & made, to name a few) that I didn't take much notice of the dragon on the way in. Usually, when I visit a garden, I like to go through it the way a gardener intends - through entrance and exit - and then go back the opposite way to pick up what I hadn't noticed before. And the dragon is even more imposing when you're walking down the stairwell. We were also allowed up on the roof of the lower part of the house and had a great view of him there. I assume it's a male dragon anyway.
I got to spend a little more time with Damaris when I met with the organizers of the West Asheville Garden Stroll (WAGS) on Sunday evening. I had dinner with them at Brotherhug and Janet's house (two of the organizers) and explained how Garden Walk Buffalo works and I quizzed them on how they operate. They're doing a lot right and I hope our talk keeps them growing stronger and in the direction that's good for their tour and city. A unique feature to many Asheville gardens (other than great art incorporated into gardens) is the front yard vegetable gardens, or vegetables grown with ornamental plants in front yards. One of the organizers is from Buffalo - grew up right here in the heart of the Garden Walk area, just two blocks away from me.
I can't see growing vegetables in my front yard. But I will not rule out a dragon.