A little over three months ago, a friend of mine asked my husband if he could spruce up her garden in readiness for her wedding. My friend lives in the most wonderful 100 year school house which she and her husband-to-be, have recently turned into a bed & breakfast. It is the most beautiful building. The house was a little country school up to about 5 years ago. There is a wonderful tree sculpture, which a fellow chain-sawed from a tree that was dying, pertaining to all things school and school children.
There are children painting, catching a ball, playing netball, reading a book, a pair of scissors, a biro and a pencil. This work of art really is terribly clever. There are sculptures such as these interspersed around Tasmania relating to different facets of Australian history e.g. the first world war, convict life in Tasmania etc. They are all so interesting to look at and terribly intricate considering they are hewn with a chain saw.
But....back to the garden wedding. Even in Tassie creating a garden that looks as if it is established, within three months, can be a tall order. Even though there are some lovely standard Iceberg roses, there wasn't really a garden to speak about except a gazillion of weeds. The garden looks a treat in Spring as there are thousands of beautiful Spring bulbs kissing the warm sunshine, but in Summer/Autumn there isn't really anything substantial suitable for a wedding. There are beautiful Iceberg roses of course against a backdrop of gorgeous old trees; but some colour and a profusion of flowers was needed to make a happy statement for the big day.
How to make a beautiful garden which would flower profusely in time for the big day?? AND....how to plant a beautiful garden with next to no money!! My husband decided to plant hundreds of Cosmos and Zinnia seeds for instant colour. Oh, and he decided to build a lovely garden arch out of some old wood that he has collected over the years, in the middle of the pathway, where the bride and groom would exchange their vows. He thought an arch in the middle of the pathway would give the house and garden some symmetry.
So he weeded and weeded laboriously, dug garden beds and set about to prepare the soil for the planting of the seeds and abbra cadabra......the cosmos and zinnias grew and grew to what is now a lovely garden.
Whilst my friend and my husband were chatting about gardens, I of course innocently enquired as to what Sarah had in mind for the wedding celebration. Sarah replied she had no idea as to what she wanted and had no idea how to 'tart up' a shed fit for a beautiful wedding celebration.
You know what followed.....don't you. Yes indeedy, I casually asked "would you like some help to transform your shed into a wedding wonderland??" Of course, Sarah agreed and of course I said "consider it done"!!
So.........with very little budget and with a bountiful of props from my house and a little bit of imagination, the transformation began which culminated in a lovely garden wedding enjoyed by all who attended this past weekend.
Although I had my props, Sarah and I visited the local tip to see if we could unearth some treasures. I wanted oodles of glass jars, both for candles (there is no electricity in the shed) and to hold bounteous bouquets of floralicious delight. We came across some interesting, rusted wire, bed frames and snapped them up. Though I had no idea what I would do with them.....something in the dark and rusty corridors of my brainpan resonated with them. So home they came with us. A plan was beginning to formulate regarding these......a great prop for holding baby food glass jars with candles flickering within. They really did look a picture. You can have a lookity look later on.
But......for the magical wedding to take place, one had to gather all the 'pretties' from my home and load the van to set off for the magical transformation.
It's just as well I have a lot of pretty props lying around my home, isn't it? My husband has often joked perhaps we should open a "props-for-hire" business!!
Mmmm......I must admit the shed, though new and clean, was going to require a swoosh of a magic wand. With one or two ideas swooshing around my rather fuzzy mind I began to play. We borrowed the trestle tables from a local school......oh and chairs as well.
Styling for me, mostly is a lot of fun. Indeed it is really like play. Though I must admit it is an exhaustive process. I always seem to turn my home upside down, carting all the pretties to the venue. It involves hour after hour of climbing up and down ladders, solving logistical problems, in order to create an atmosphere, filled with an ambience worthy of a magical celebration.
On this occasion I had lovely helpers to translate what was in my head, into a reality.
I was so thankful for my willing band of helpers, they were invaluable!!
A little outside alcove off the kitchen received the decorating touch as well. I thought it would be rather lovely if we hung oodles of glass jars filled with a flower or two, together with some rice paper lanterns. Such a simple idea but oh so effective! I am so thankful there was the odd fellow or two to do this job as the ceiling was quite high. My days of scaling 14ft ladders, hour after hour, are well and truly over.
It was so pretty walking down the path, with the colourful flowers smiling at the guests with a glimpse of the pretty lanterns and the jars of flowers hanging from the kitchen alcove. It was truly beautiful. Oh.....and I might add, there was not any money for flowers. All the flowers at the wedding came from my garden. Yes indeedy, it is rather fortuitous my home is surrounded by many a pretty flower! My garden certainly saves a motza in florists' bills.
With the outside looking a treat, it was time for the beautifying of the shed.
We hung mirrors to reflect the lights from the many candles that would cast a lovely luminosity at nightfall.
A lovely reflection of the garden in one of the mirrors.
I hung a 'few' candelabras from the ceiling, along with lanterns and other paper pretties.
I festooned metre after metre of soft flowing voile around the perimeter, fastening it at intervals with some trailing ribbon flowers that I fashioned. I draped some pretty lace curtains at each corner, being the backdrop for flower carts; one holding big beautiful vases of flowers and candelabras, and the other showing off the beautiful wedding cake.
Remember those rusty, old bed springs I gushed about earlier.....well here they are....the receptacle of oodles of flickering candles in tiny glass jars.
But it was at night the rusty, old, mattress springs were the stars of the party!
Indeed, it was as nightfall enveloped the sky, the shed took on a lovely, incandescent glow.
It was a lovely garden wedding. It was a lovely wedding celebration. The bride and her groom glowed with happiness. Their love and happiness touched all who looked on.
As for my husband and me, it was a delight, in our own small way, to add a little wedding magic to what was the most beautiful of days.