Don Builds A Garden Folly
I have been very lazy about writing my blog. I really don’t know why…. it is especially annoying because I have a lot on my mind. Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I always find Father’s Day gifts a problem for my husband, Don. We have three terrific grown children and grandchildren too. They all love him like crazy, just like me! But, they would agree getting a gift for him is tough. Don is the type of guy that just goes and buys himself what he needs or wants. At Christmas, he will pick up a few things he needs instead of telling us. Gift giving is frustrating to say the least. My Father’s Day gift is this blog about a gift he made for me….
We have a big backyard with a swimming pool. Right now that isn’t too great, due to the drought. On one side for as long as we have lived here was a old wooden patio cover that was completely covered with ivy. In fact, ivy was what kept it up. This ivy was a complex ecosystem that supported many families of rats, mice, birds, raccoons, opposums, bats and a beehive. We all had an agreement, stay away from each other and we will get along great. Yes, even the rats. They are nocturnal! When my daughter Jackie was small she thought they were black kitties out scampering on the fence. I don’t think we told her the truth until she was about 25 years old. Needless to say, we just stayed away and all was fine. Until, we actually had one day weather event. It rained and the wind blew for one whole day!! The patio cover ended up in the pool with all the ivy, the nests, the hive and bunch of dead stuff that I really don’t want to know what it was. It also landed on our fountain and broke it too.
Don cleaned up a horrific mess. He ripped out the rest of the ivy and cleared the back side of the yard. We both did not realize how much space had been lurking behind all the ivy.. What to do? What to do? We both did not want another patio cover and with the drought loomimg in the future we didn’t want a lot of thirsty landscaping. Don turned to me and asked “What do you want?” Without thinking, I said “A Folly!” Don replied with the only sensible response, “What the hell is a Folly?”
I am an Anglophile. I love everything about England. I especially love English literature. I love PBS and watch all The Masterpiece Theater Presentations. My favorite is Jane Austin’s Pride and Predjudice. My favorite scene is when Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy are in the Folly. That is where he proposes and she turns him down. Elizabeth Bennett tell him off. Great scene!! I just got back from England and visited Chatsworth House, which of course is Pemberley.
We don’t live at Pemberley or anything that remotely looks like an estate. In fact, we live in a California Ranch built in 1955. Adjustments had to be made. Don and I looked at Follies and garden houses on Pinterrest and on line. Finally, we decided to just go for it! I explained that Follies really had no purpose except to have fun and show off. In the Victorian days they made the single men sleep in them that they wouldn’t ravish the young women. Maybe, our son Jordan should sleep out there when he visits it might encourage him to get married!
We started with a stain glass window that we had bought at an estate sale to sell in my antique booth. It did not sell and somehow it got cracked. So, we dragged it home and it became the focal point of the Folly. It is eye shaped and came from The United Methodist Church in Hillcrest CA. It is about 100 years old and features tulips. Don was really getting into the Folly now. He became a man possessed. The roof line was steep with a lightening rod on top. The walls were made out of lattice. Escondido is very hot 6 months of the year. We had to have air circulation. We went to a marvelous sale in Santa Barbara and bought a chandalier. And, in it went and I hung multicolored votives all through it. Don found old doors from Hungary. He paid too much but they are perfect.
We decided its main purpose was to entertain. So we put a bed inside with lots of comfy pillows. Perfect for reading or a nap.When our grandchildren are here they play house. When we have company they always end up laying or sitting on the bed gossiping and having fun. Everyone who see the Folly smiles and laughs. Maybe it does have a purpose. All I know is I love my Folly and love all the love and creativity Don put in every detail. Happy Father’s Day My Darling Don I love you…..PS God Save The Queen