Friday, May 8, 2009

A Masterpiece in Connecticut

I am constantly impressed by the homes and gardens of my readers, and any time that I get an opportunity to share their spaces on the blog - I jump on it. One such reader, who has become a dear e-mail friend, is GinCT, a faithful blog follower almost from the beginning. G=Gary, inCT=in Connecticut, and of the homes and gardens I'm most envious, Gary's top the list.
Above, in a loosely formal composition, his dappled shade garden is like most in the North East - just awakened by the warmth and sun, ready to explode with color and form. Can't you imagine walking the perfectly orchestrated circle of this winding maze of beauty everyday?
Gary finds the most interesting objects and turns them into the most supreme works of art. You all may remember Gary's stone pedestal sink in his bathroom, I posted last November. Or pictures of his home that showed up in this post. Gary blends the unique with the mainstream, the common with the priceless, while keeping it sophisticated, personal, and oh so chic!
Gary emailed me photos of some succulent wreaths he'd been working on the past couple of days, and when I opened the first of the attachments my eyes widened and my jaw hit the floor:

The beauty of this season long easy care wreath is stunning, and when attached to the old brownstone fence pedestals Gary uses as the columns of his side entry, it's easy to see why Gary's style and aesthetic captivates such a wide audience. These wreaths are filled with rather inexpensive succulents, and some cuttings from other more expensive succulents Gary finds from friends and hoity-toity shops. The blend of color, texture, shape, and form is remarkable - and oh so very me!

Here, a better picture of the century old brownstone post on which the succulent wreath hangs, you get a better view of the Connecticut garden Gary has tastefully planted, accessorized, and cultivated around his beautiful farm house. I've never had the opportunity to see it in person - but I keep teasing that I'm moving in.

This photo is not from Gary's home, but was a picture of succulent art work that Gary had sent me a while ago. I always thought I'd share this with you in a post - and how perfect that it could be while featuring the beautiful succulent wreaths Gary made himself? But what's better is that these creations are really limitless, and only your imagination can stop you. Gary even made topiaries, following the same construction steps as the wreath.

Here, an upclose shot of the topiary, you get an idea of how many different types of succulents Gary uses in these phenomenal creations.

And from afar, against the wood panelled walls of his barn room - the topiaries in all their beauty. Now, succulents are water retaining plants, giving their leaves an often fat or succulent appearance, thus: succulents. Many are from naturally arid areas, so they're perfect for gardeners who don't have time to pay special attention to needy plants. Just soak the entire wreath in water for 10 minutes once a week - and you're done! These last for years, according to Gary - and that's a source I'd count on!
Thank you Gary for sharing your beautiful talents on the blog, and remember - my birthday is this Sunday, so I'll be eagerly sitting by the mailbox daily for my Gary original!


  1. I recently discovered what succulents were. However, I didn't realize they could last that long? And, could it ever go out of style? Noway!

    Thanks for the tutorial and beautiful shots!

    I think I know what I am going to be doing this Spring!

  2. i got into succulents about 3 years ago....and really love 'em.

    i wish i knew how he did those little topiaries in the terracotta pots. they are divine.


  3. What a great garden. I've never thought of succulents in the living wreaths although I've done them for years -- pansies in the spring and herbs for the summer. When I replace my pansies in a month or so, i'm going to do the succulents!

    Off to Gary's now!

  4. I love your blog and will be adding it to Friends of Linderhof. How do you access Gary's -- would love to read his as well.

  5. Wow. I have never seen wreaths quite like that and I have to say, they're truly beautiful!!!!!!! And the fact that they can last and last? Amazing!
    Thanks for sharing with us, Artie!

    Justine :o )

  6. The wreath and all of Gary's creations are amazing. Very talented! Thanks for the inspiring post.

    Tricia - Avolli

  7. I have never been that fond of succulents, but I have to say Gary's would change my mind....lovely!

  8. Hey Artie, i make those wreaths, too. I have one hanging in my front porch. I made one last year and I can attest they take very little care and look amazing. I babied it over the winter and it returned for me again this spring. With a bit of a tweaking it still looks great. When you purchase one from a nursery they are hundreds of dollars. I like the topiary idea. I have a sweet Mrs. Rabbit that needs an overhaul this year and maybe this would be the ticket. Hmmm! You've got my gears turning. ~ Robyn

  9. As mentioned before I am not a Gardner but succulents are something that I can grow. NOT as beautiful as these arrangements by any means, but they still bring a smile.


  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Artie! ENJOY Brimfield next week and I'll be there either Sat or Sun! I'm taking my coin jar to the bank today to be ready.

    Masterpiece?? lol. Not quite but thanks! Sorry it's not a wreath but something is being mailed to you today. Happy, happy, many more!

    (Scott called and said that if you paint the walls white, he's returning the box with you in it!)

    G in CT

  11. Be Still My Heart!
    Those succulent wreaths!!

  12. I added the instructions to my ever growing list of projects that I'll get to one day!
    Enjoy your blog and I saw your garden in your previous post and it's coming along wonderfully!

  13. I just found you through Lines from Linderhof blog. I totally love your pics and hope to join in on your Sunday garden sharing.
    Thanks & Herbal Blessings, Mandy