Friday, September 20, 2013

The story of an arbor.

Howdy, I'm back!

It's been a crazy, awesome, amazing summer.
But I have a background story to tell.
It's the Story of an Arbor.

Years ago, over 25 years ago, when we moved to the island I had not been a gardener. I began poking around the garden at our rental, planting a few things, enjoying the rhododendrons, clematis and rhubarb. A few years later we ended up building our house and then I had a whole bare yard to landscape. I loved to drive around the island and spot colorful gardens. I especially loved to find white rose arbors.

One beautiful day in May I decided to photograph my favorite, over there on Falk Road on the East side of the island.

As I began snapping photos, I noticed an elderly man standing at the end of the walkway behind the fence. I quickly went over to him to tell him what I was doing (and ask permission after the fact!).

He warmly said, "Come in, come in!" I then met his wife who suffered from a bit of dementia but was as warm as her husband. They gave me a tour of their vintage house and yard which I immediately wanted to buy!! The dining room had windows that viewed Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier.

Yes, he had built the arbor.
He had also built all the picket fences around the property from old sewing machine crates! He had been a sewing machine salesman for years and kept the crates. He'd built birdhouses, too, that dotted the property. "Bring your husband over," he said. He wanted him to take any arbor measurements he needed in order to build me one.

And hubby did, almost an exact copy.

With our youngest son's help, he built the arbor and a picket fence.

Yup, I hand dug the shape of the garden and began planting.
I think I fell in love with gardening right about then.

Things began to grow!

And grow!

And grow!

Until one day my young niece looked at the garden and named it The Wedding Garden all the while dreaming of getting married there someday.

But when she married 5 years ago, she needed a bigger venue and chose a gorgeous farm setting.

I didn't dream that one of my sons would get married by The Wedding Garden. Um, they just don't talk about that stuff much while growing up :)  But to our surprise and delight, our oldest son got engaged this summer and our soon to be daughter-in-law loved The Wedding Garden.

So we busily got ready.

New pickets and fresh paint.

We had painted the arbor (and house exterior) last summer, thankfully!

Until all was complete (well, as much as a garden is ever complete!)
And on September 7 our son married in front of the arbor.

(Photo credit Christin Spradling)

It was an amazing day.

Thank you, Mr. Hamro, for generously sharing your handiwork. You would have been delighted to see what became of your inspiration!


  1. This is the most awesome and special story. It actually made me want to cry. Special in so many ways - how wonderful to have a daughter in law that wanted to be married there. It truly is a magical place. Thanks so much for sharing!!! ~ Dori ~

  2. What a wonderful story, Barb! And I LOVE that it's illustrated.

  3. Nice! Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated

  4. Beautiful beautiful story. I love how the love of an arbor grew into such a sweet and memorable event!