Friday, August 13, 2010

" The Secret Garden "

As promised I am posting a few more photos of our day trip while Jake was home for a week. As advised by our oldest daughter "Ginny", we were told not to be afraid to wonder off of the beaten path. And so we did. 

As Ginny suggested we wandered into a tiny, tiny town in Southern Illinois called Makanda. Our son and daughter-in-law also suggested that we stop by. Really there wasn't anything very exciting about it.
It has a very small boardwalk that dates back to before I was born, so I suppose they thought that might make it interesting for me!

That's how it looked a little bit before I was born.

And that is how it looks today. It is very small. There are a few shops in there that have some interesting handcrafted items and lots of photos of the old days and a bit of the history.

This really was a beautiful area. Very hilly with lots of curving stone lined roads. 

One of the shops was owed by a gentleman that worked with metal. He handcrafted jewelry and metal art. Very beautiful pieces. But that isn't why we stopped there.

Our daughter told us that there used to be ( back in her collage days ) a secret garden behind his store. She suggested that we ask him if it was still there as she knows how much I love gardens.

Now before I go on let me tell you a few things about this garden. There aren't many flowers in it and it has pretty much been taken over by weeds. This gentleman that owns it is a tad bit older than me and can no longer keep up with it. But let me tell you this, when I saw it, my imagination ran wild! 

And please, click on some of the photos to see the detail. I could not capture it properly with my camera. Too bad I didn't take Kate's!!

You really have to use your imagination here. This "Backyard" has multiple natural levels.

There were several metal art pieces that the owner sculpted. MMmm, I don't know if "sculpted" is the right word.
There were many stairs, bridges and whimsy. However, grown over it was.

I made my husband very nervous several times. He doesn't care for heights to say the least!

I could barely get him to cross this bridge. I think he only did it because he was worried about my walking. I went slowly and carefully.

I could see that quite a bit of this "backyard" was in disrepair. That just made it more exciting for me !

Above is one of the creeks.

Below, a mermaid sitting beside a pond!

It was impossible for me to capture this entire "Backyard" in one photo. So I took many. I didn't even touch the surface. There was a fire pit on one of the levels.

So many staircases. Some led to another level, others to a dead end!

Can you tell that my husband hates having his picture taken? Sorry Dear, fair is fair!

Notice the copper fish. It was atop a pond of goldfish.

There were also stone obelisks that surrounded the entire "Backyard".

And a gigantic mosquito!

I thought that I took too many photos but now I wish I had taken more.
Such beauty and so much potential. 

I understand that at one time this place was a gathering for local musical artists as well as a "Backyard". 

When I complimented the owner on his beautiful garden, he said " It doesn't hurt that it sits in the middle of the rocks!".

I do believe that had we brought a bottle of wine, he would have let us sit back there and enjoy it. Maybe another time.

What a special place.

Goodbye Makanda!


Lynilu said...

Di, I just know you are dying to go back and whip that garden into shape,aren't you? It is wonderful! Your pictures are great.

I recently visited the quiet garden behind a friend's home here. It is just lovely, simple, inviting, and calming. Her home is an old adobe, and the garden is fitting for that style. I found such peace there.

Thanks for the tour. :)

BTW, I bought and planted some Russian Sage. Sigh. I just can't stop! As I've said before .... My name is Lyn, and I'm a plantaholic.

Bernie said...

WOW that is quite a garden. I can see the beauty in it now but oh it would be amazing with some TLC.
Glad you had such a good time while Jake way home......:-) Hugs

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Beautiful Pictures, Beautiful Garden. Thanks for Sharing Di, I bet it was nice and cool in the Shade as well.

Rebecca said...

You know, Di, that this is "MY kind of place"! I'd love to have even ONE of those sculpted pieces in my back yard.

He's right! It DOESN'T hurt that it sits in the rocky setting....

I'm glad you "stumbled" (or DIDN'T stumble!) on this place and took the pictures that you did.

Simply fascinating!

anupama said...

Dear Diana,
Good Evening!
Thanks a lot for the sharing of snaps and details.Both of you look cool.
I loved the whole place;the mermaid and the bridge.
I am leaving tonight on an official tour.Tomorrow is our Independence Day!
Enjoy and celebrate.
Wishing you a lovely night,

Anvilcloud said...

Imagine what one could do with that place if one had time, money and energy. However, if you're like me you have none of the above. :)

Wanda..... said...

That was a wonderful place to visit, Di! It would almost be fun to do a little hard work repairing and weeding there. I noticed a few oil lamps and torches, I wonder if he sits there at night sometimes himself, relaxing with wine.

All the natural rocks, creek and trees made it a great place for a secret garden and I loved all the lovely artistic touches! Ginny was right, Makanda was a great place to visit!


Donna's Book Nook said...

What a great place! It is so beautiful and peaceful, in spite of needing to be tended to and some repairs.

Thanks for sharing with us!

Dee said...

I have been enjoying your day trip. Did you come away with inspiration for your yard? I do hope you will be able to get your knee taken care of this year so you can do all the things you want to be doing.

Graceful Moments said...

What a wonderful secret garden...just like in the book. Neglected but with such good bones, one can easily imagine how lovely it must have been when it was in its prime. What a lovely project it would be to restore it.
I am certainly enjoying this day trip of yours!

Amity said...

You kept to your promise that you will treat us some more to your trips in those wonderful places!

Thanks for sharing it Di! Lovely!

Now I feel like wanting to have mine own wanderings in the wilderness and be awed by the beauty nature could offer me... :)