We interrupt this blogging break to bring you…a blog post! Last weekend my mother, a friend of hers, and I had the pleasure of going through a number of beautiful gardens that were part of a local church’s annual garden tour. (You can see the tour from 2 years ago here.) One school greenhouse and five homes were featured, but thunder began to rumble and rain began to fall as we were finishing up garden #4. So we headed home after that one.
I brought my handy-dandy “real” camera along with me so that I could get some pretty photos for you. I had planned to do this post at a later date, but it has rained and rained and rained here since then, and we can’t paint outside in this weather nor work on the flower beds. So you can thank Mother Nature for giving me some time to get this one written. 🙂
One of the gardens included on the tour belongs to local designer/decorator/author James Farmer. I wrote a post about James a few years ago (here) but that was before he had his home, Farmdale constructed. The house has been featured in a number of magazines, but I know many of you have not seen it yet. So today I want to show you around his garden.
It was the first one we visited, and I believe we were the first ones there Saturday morning. 🙂 James was outside piddling with last minute things in the yard and signing books that were for sale on the ticket table. Farmdale is quite young. Construction..not the move in date mind you…the actual construction, started a mere 3 years ago, and with that in mind, I think he has accomplished a phenomenal amount for such a new space. (Especially considering his nonstop traveling schedule!)
Let’s just walk around the outside starting with that side door behind them to the left.
(Farmdale’s resident dog, Sampson wandered from window to window watching everyone in the yard. 🙂 )
At the base of those stairs were more geraniums and… geese!
Every “farm” needs geese, right? 🙂
Another entrance was on that side with a vintage table full of garden pots.
Take in the whole side here…
and then there is seating before you turn to go in the backyard.
You are going to love the backyard. 🙂
It really is amazing to think the parterre looks that good having been there for such a short time.
The boxwoods for the hedge were planted only a few weeks ago.
The old brickwork that you see in the walks and steps came from a church in nearby Macon, Georgia.
The other side of the house had ladders, air conditioning units, and tools all stored there…not exactly photogenic (but real life. 🙂 ) Let me take you back around to the beautiful front yard again…the part of the yard that was in the photos at the beginning of this post.
The area behind the front door looks like an enclosed porch, but it is actually the dining room.
There are crepe myrtles anchoring both sides of the house, providing symmetry to the landscape, and there is seating on each side as well.
And that’s just about all the photos from the garden at Farmdale. Didn’t you just love it? Now I could go ahead and finish this post with all the photos from the three other ones we toured, but I think it would be better if I include a few photos of the interior of Farmdale for those of you who have not seen it. And then I will do another post for you on the remaining gardens hopefully in a few days. Okay? Keep in mind, this was only a garden tour. We did not go inside the house (although James did do an interior tour during the fall a couple of years ago.)
Let’s start with the floorplan. Farmdale was built from a Southern Living plan that was tweaked for James by architect Robert Norris of Spitzmiller and Norris. I think they started from the Capeside Cottage plan. You can purchase the Farmdale building plans here from Southern Living.
The first floor is shown below, and there is a second floor in the plan. James has built the house with a few changes himself. The garage shown in the plan is actually an interior space (like the Capeside Cottage plan shows.) It is the white painted brick part of the house pictured in the side and backyard photographs. He also did a bay window behind the sink in the kitchen, and that is not shown in the plan either. There are probably other changes made, but those are two that I quickly noticed.
You enter Farmdale into a brick floored dining room.
Here is another view of the dining room in a photo by Emily Followill. You can really see the beautiful ceiling and that wonderful brick floor in this view.
Behind the dining room is the great room with its unique pecky cypress fireplace mantel and double barn look doors.
There is a staircase with Chippendale railing right off this room.
And the kitchen is on the other side of the great room.
There are two bedrooms in the downstairs space.
(This photo was obviously taken at Christmas.)
I love James’ use of old brick in the walkways and steps outside and on the wall and floor of this hallway.
And finally there is this fun relaxing space he calls the “waller room.”
I’m going to wrap up the post here, but there are still more photos of the interior over on Southern Living’s website if you wish to see them. I hope you have enjoyed “visiting” Farmdale today. We certainly enjoyed wandering through the grounds there last weekend! Anyone who is willing to open up their home/yard to a group of strangers should be commended for their generosity. We appreciated all the gardeners very much. 🙂
I hope you will be back to see the rest of the gardens from the tour in the next post. Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day here. So I know we will be working outside, but I will try to get that post out for you soon (and then I will be back “on blogging break.”)
Until next time…