the Jean Chapin garden

Greenware Pottery bird bath

I open with this shot because it so perfectly illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the garden and the art…

large water pot with lilies

although this huge water pot was actually the first feature to greet us as we entered.

clay figures in the garden

Strategically placed here, there and everywhere are examples of the art that pours out of Jean’s Greenware Pottery.

corner of the Greenware Pottery studio

If you can tear your eyes off the ground level vignettes and raise your head, you can glimpse the studio where it all happens.

container garden by studio

Another outlet for Jean’s creativity is her way with container gardens. This one sits in front of the studio. If you look closely, you can just see some of her products in the background.

small container garden

Small pots with cunning plantings are tucked in without ever looking like afterthoughts.

shade garden

A beautiful old tree around the other side of the studio holds an assortment of bird houses created by the artist, while providing the conditions for a shade garden.

phormium love

One of several healthy looking phormiums caught my eye. I asked Jean about them, hoping to hear some magical formula for nursing them through harsh winters. She simply buys new ones each year: they are that important to the architecture of the garden.

the pond

Between the studio and the main house sits the pond, the most recent addition to this six-year-old garden.

pond plantings

The plantings around and in the pond guarantee that its newness bears not a hint of rawness.

color echoes

I couldn’t stop snapping photos of this particular combination for the color echoes spanning different textures. In the background are daylilies in vivid sunset tones, further forward, a dwarf cotinus billowing amber and in the foreground, the strappy phormium tying it all together.

phormium with green ball

By panning a little to the left, you can see how yet another texture has been introduced with the smooth green ball cozying up to the phormium. The whole garden has been considered this carefully. To the back of the house, the garden steps down to a grassy area and then the river. Jean and her husband were deep into preparations for next week’s Garden Conservancy tour, but Jean’s generous nature demanded that she spend time with us, sharing insights and inspirations.


Back at the studio came the hard part: deciding which of Jean’s whimsical garden creatures would come home with us.

my dragonfly

I settled upon this dragonfly with ceramic body and tail and wings fashioned of willow twigs.

dragonfly face

I figured you need to see a close up to appreciate the happy, loopy expression.

flying fish

Marilyn saw how difficult it was for me to choose, so she bought me one of the flying fish, now frolicking in my heuchera bed…a fitting reminder of a lovely day.

4 thoughts on “the Jean Chapin garden

  1. What a fun tour. Thank you, Ricki. The pond setting does look really natural and I love the rocks that are scattered around the garden. I love rocks. 🙂

  2. Even though I come from the land where phormiums are planted in every other garden I can appreciate their structure and why someone would want to replace them every year. They look terrific around the pond. Great tour!

  3. Grace~Ah…a fellow rock lover! I’ve been collecting shots for a rock post sometime soon.

    James~I think the difficulty we have been having with them (phormiums) only makes us want them more.

    Loree~ I have one that has been in the ground for a long time that keeps limping along, getting a bit smaller with each harsh winter.

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