The side entrance of her secret garden where we all enter. On the other side of the reeds you will find three hens softly cooing.
It's a sad day in my little neighborhood when the days start getting shorter and chilling down, the leaves start to change color, and my neighbor Sharon puts her garden to rest for another winter. Over the years we have had many summer evenings sitting around her secluded little paradise roasting marshmellows, watching the kids put on little performances, and chatting and laughing late into the night. The signal to all of us has been "when the lantern is lit by the gate, it's "friends and fire" time."
Sharon has always had this unbelievable gift of taking the outdoors and turning it into an extension of living space for the summer. She often starts early, spring and works hard all the way up to the first lighting of the lantern. Every nook that hugs her perimeter is a vinette of warmth, beauty, and nature.
The trickle of water complementing background music
The outdoor bed, one they actually use all summer long, is fluffed with down pillows of all textures, colors, and sizes. This cozy nook is complete with a miniature chandelier, soft vintage bedding, twinkly lights, candles and lanterns. By the end of the summer the clematis has created a long thick extra sense of privacy.
The outdoor bed that serves as a cool resting place for summer evenings.
The seating is a collection over the years of vintage wicker, wooden benches, and a variety of other types of furniture. Again, she brings out the comfort of the inside by providing plenty of warm cozy quilts and blankets, as well as pillows for us all to snuggle down in around the fire.
Some of the cozy seating before we settle in with blankets and fire.
On the back patio, around the corner from this seating, you will find a huge farmhouse table along with an outdoor armoire that houses all that is needed for Sharon to set the stage for an enchanting evening. And then when the night closes in and her cottage secret garden comes alive with tiny lights, candles tucked in everywhere, lit chandeliers, and soft music, you settle in for a night of unbelievable hospitality, amazing food, rich conversation, and the wanting of the night to never end.
Her sweet little potting shed at the end of the garden path.
But alas, it does, and after many more evenings such as this the season starts to change and it becomes a gentle memory. And we soon find ourselves looking forward once again, after a long winter, for the lantern to once again be a glow by the garden gate.