Betty and I had both grown up in the same Long Island town and stayed to raise our kids there too. Betty was as settled as a flower in her backyard garden. I almost fell off my chair when she told me she and her husband were going to empty-nest in an apartment in DC. That was a whole lifestyle away. I wanted to add a little bit of garden to her terrace.
Because every garden needs a picket fence, I started with a wall hanging I wasn’t using.
It was cute but not used, so off came the birds and the hooks, to be saved for a future project…
…and on when two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White and two coats of clear matte polyurethane.
I’ve always been a fan of Mary Engelbreit and I knew it was Betty’s style too. I ordered fabric from Ebay adorned with Engelbreit’s artwork.
I cut designs from the fabric and decoupaged them onto the “garden fence.” The fabric worked very well on the uneven surface of the wood. Ann Estelle, one of Engelbreit’s recurring characters, reminded me of Betty.
The quote I chose suited the situation perfectly: “Bloom where you’re planted.”
But there was more to my wish for Betty to bloom where she was planted. I wanted her to plant where she bloomed! I wasn’t “hung up” on a solution for long.
I purchased a wall planter, spray-painted it white, and add some touches of Antibes Green.
I screwed the planter onto the faux fence. It was removable so that, if need be, the planter and the fence could be used (or not used) separately.
I had in mind that her gift should be compact, not only for use on a terrace but, as Betty downsized a house full of memories, easy to pack. I hope this mini hanging garden will help Betty grow new roots, and also remind her that she’ll never lose her hometown friends.
What I learned:
- Fabric works well for decoupage on uneven surfaces
- Bloom where you’re planted!