Saturday, March 3, 2012

Visiting my Favourite Nursery...Aspidistra!

Willie Schmidt is the mastermind behind this beautiful nursery and every single time I visit, there are new things to experience, frequently changes that make me gasp from sheer enjoyment of this exceedingly creative landscape designer's talent. 
Today, we decided to have breakfast in the nursery's charming tea garden under the trees before spending a couple of hours quietly taking in the many, many captivating scenes in the nursery's garden itself. 
 Willie is incredibly gifted and every which way you turn, there are surprises waiting to delight and astound. You find yourself thinking, "Why hadn't I thought of that?"
 His style is eclectic and he works with a lot of rusty, throw-away objects sourced from all over. He has the knack of creating multiple tableaux newly set up but giving the impression of having been there for ages. I have often said I wish he could bottle his genius and sell it.
His nursery has been featured on Pasella, a much loved South African Afrikaans TV magazine programme, on several occasions and he has been interviewed by and featured in several media publications over the years, yet to meet Willie, your first impression is of a man who shuns fame.
 His nursery and artistry are his abiding passions and he 'lives' his chosen career with great conviction. He  and his wife have created a beautiful home in much the same style as his nursery. I would absolutely love to be able to visit his private garden, which one can get a glimpse of when visiting the nursery, but which is not open for public viewing.

Do you have an old aviary? Make a feature of it by planting up some attractive specimen plants.
Old enamelware pails? Easy...just pop in a few bright flowering plants and get an instant wow factor!
Who says knickknacks have no place outdoors?
Striking simplicity masterfully executed using everyday toss away items.

Take a piece of old wood, a pretty tin and two tin birds...

The old wheelbarrow is too rusty to use as a planter? Easy! Just suspend it on its side and you have a striking garden ornament!

Here, Willie has used a plank of old wood, a couple of old tools and a section of rusty tin to clever effect to create an eye catching planter.


Refurbishing the bathroom? What to do with the old bath? Just put it in the garden and create an attractive water feature!





Don't throw away your broken pottery!


Even builder's rubble is put to good use!



Have an old door to play around with?  
This is not one of Willie's creations. He promotes the work of a number of very talented artists who work with reclaimed materials. This lady is particularly talented!

Willie turns everything into water features. There is no end to his imagination in this regard. 


Nothing is deemed too ugly to use. Even a piece of worn picket fencing finds a spot as an art piece!
Don't throw away any old pots or pieces of wood. Everything can be turned into something unique.

As usual, I took many, many pictures, far too many to share in a single post. I am going to have to do several posts in order to do justice to today's visit. (To see my first ever post on Aspidistra, please click the link HERE )

44 comments:

  1. "Why hadn't I thought of that?" Indeed, Desiree, that's what I was thinking as I saw what Willie hath wrought. It excites me to realize that rusted out wheelbarrows, worn and weather beaten tools, broken fencing, cans, bottles and other items which are typically pitched in the trash can be arranged in a garden setting as a means of artistic expression. My brain operates much the same way. I don't like to see anything go to waste. If given a set of raw materials and enough time I can usually put them together in a way that's aesthetically pleasing. Thank you for showing us Willie's wonders, dear friend!

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  2. As usual I'm in love :) how I wish to own one day a similar luxurious paradise. Btw love your new blog look!

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  3. he really is very gifted in his eye for outdoor decor. i LOVE his use of doors and windows the most! really great post, desiree!

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  4. Desiree, this is a nursery after my own heart! What lovely vignettes! And more to come. WooHoo! I love that half tin on the board with the two tin birds, and the door with the mosaiced window is just utterly amazing!

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  5. Hi Desiree, beautiful photos [again] such a nice garden, and I love the use of simple things - so perfect.
    Have a lovely weekend my friend. Big hugs,
    Eva

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  6. Awesome!! I Loved looking aqt the ideas, thank you for sharing!!

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  7. I remember the awesome flowers and birds in the first one and this one is just as wonderful. Everything was so beautiful the way he had it laid out and positioned on items only he would think to use. He has an amazing place there and I am glad you decided to have a return visit. Have a great rest of the weekend.
    Hugs,
    Odie

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  8. I would give anything to have the gift of seeing old discarded items and creating such beauty. I don't have that so I appreciate these pictures more than you know. That mosaic globe is fantastic. That one really jumps out at me but every single picture is amazing to look at. Thanks for the tour!

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  9. I remember you previous post about this place, and how it inspired me. I love the name of the nursery! I look forward to the next group of photos!

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  10. Wowwwwwww is this a shop ???? i see labels on stuff.....i really like it !!...love Ria...xxx...

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  11. That open roof with all of the hanging artefacts is very striking! The whole place is filled with unusual and attractive features. It must be a delight to explore!

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  12. No wonder you love it there! I have this 'thing' for old doors and windows so I very much enjoyed seeing what he's done with those!

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  13. Loved most of it, especially the hanging hearts collage. You are very lucky to have him to shop and vist with ! take care, Gina

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  14. Dearest Desiree,
    I love the way you use the various precious items, what a talented person you are♡♡♡
    Thank you for sharing us these amazing pictures!!!
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

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  15. Love an excursion like this, what fun! Makes me want to scramble around for something to re-purpose. Succulents happen to be the most charming and happy little plants, don't you think? I love the manner in which they have been planted in the odd containers and am sure to copy for my own yard one day.

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  16. I love all of what he's done. So many great ideas there. I really like the picture with all the objects hanging from an old branch. Plus it looks warm in those pictures, the opposite of how it is here.

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  17. What a lovely place to visit we have a few gardens like that on the kibbutz.

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  18. What a fabulous place and such a source of great ideas. I have not spotted an actual Aspidistra yet though. :)

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  19. This would be one of my favorite places too.. I love all the pottery and odds and ends handing. That door was a stroke of genius. Leading one to think about what could be behind it. Love it. Thanks for being my champion as usual my friend. You are such a wonderful person.

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  20. Oh my ....guess I should go raid my barn! Lovely post!

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  21. Wow... I'd love to visit there!

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  22. I can how one could spend hours and hours in that garden. The only thing that bothers me is standing water. I automatically think--mosquitoes! ;) But he has such a flair for taking any found object and making it an artistic addition. He turns junk into a thing of beauty!! :) I'm looking forward to more pictures.

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  23. It takes a lot of skill to make that old junk look genuinely lovely and not just trashy. He clearly has that skill. As for you, D, good job you're digital and not still using film!!

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  24. Oh, I love the little pot guy in the first picture. I am going to make one this summer.
    And, WHY, did I throw that old door away?

    In all of my travels around here I have NEVER seen such a nursery. They are all BORING with plants lined up in a row. Dull, dull, dull….This guy is talented and a tea room TOO! Mannn, are we missing the boat!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Wow, beauty everywhere you turn. That's what a labor of love looks like, right there.

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  26. there are some wonderful ideas there, I especially love the mosaics and that mosaic ball with the mirrors is spectacular. I used to have a blue shiny ball in the garden and it used to attract hummingbirds, that photo just reminded me.

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  27. Thanks for reminding me, Aspidistra is a beautiful nursery. I haven't been there for quite a while - definitely time for another visit.

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  28. This guy just doesn't seem to run out of ideas. The place is amazing. I would love to try a couple of these ideas in my boring garden.

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  29. How imaginative he is. I would be worried that it just looked like junk if I was to do that in my garden but I think I might give it a go. It must be a fascinating place to go. He is a garden artist.

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  30. I too uttered the words "why didn't I think of that!" after reading this post. Desiree, what a clever person he is - even a plain old white bath is made into something beautiful. There are just so many good ideas - with things that are easily available. Yes, please post every one of your photos!! :D)

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  31. wow....so many creative ideas...of re-using things that most people would just toss!! i love the doors!! but my favorite are the mosaics...of broken shards of things!! LOVE the mosaic sphere...and ALL the plants!!
    that was an awesome tour!!

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  32. Best ideas ever! How extremely creative ;)

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  33. The mosaic gazing ball is to die for! What a creative and inspiring nursery. I love the artistry of nature mixed with artifacts. It gives one the sense that a garden is a timeless place, a place of renewal and recovery.

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  34. Spóźniona :-(, ale jestem. Pomysłowość tego Pana nie ma granic. Ja z pewnością wiele z tych rzeczy bym się pozbyła, jak nieużyteczne. A ten Pan zrobił takie cuda, niesamowite. Podoba mi się bardzo pomysł wanny i dużego dzbana opartego o jej brzeg. Wspaniałe, dzięki może coś podpatrzę. Pozdrawiam serdecznie. *** Late :-(, but I am. Ingenuity of the Lord knows no boundaries. I certainly many of the things I would have got rid of as useless. And the Lord has done such wonders, amazing. I like the very idea of ​​the bath and a large pitcher based on its shore. Great, thanks perhaps something podpatrzę. Best regards.

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  35. I love when people take things that normally would be thrown away and then incorporate the recycled item into their garden design. I try to do it when I can. Some people are better at this than others.....I am the latter:) Beautiful pics that capture useful ideas.

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  36. Oh, Desiree, I'd love to visit this nursery! And so would my friends at Flea market Gardening! This is 'right up our alley'and I will have to share with the folks on our page. I know they'll pore over each and every picture! What an inspiration,...you see we are 'up cyclers' and proud of doing our part to reduce,reuse and recycle in the garden while being creative. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful place. Sue

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  37. Oh my gosh! Thanks for sharing Willie's incredible creativity! My mind is reeling with all the possibilities! Very inspiring post! I loved the wheelbarrow on it's side. I have so much stuff, I never thought about putting some of it outside, especially things that aren't in the best of condition, but I just can't part with them.

    I'm always so delighted to go a-wandering with you, Desiree!

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  38. Hi Desiree. It is SO good to be back with you all again!! Wow!, you never let us down, do you?! You take the most amazing photos for us to look at, and today's post is certainly no exception to the rule. Amazing ideas that he had - everything looks just fantastic. I loved that plank with the plant pots hung on it. We actually have an old enamel bath right down at the end of our garden (in the wild bit, by the orchard). It was left there by the previous owners, but the photo in your post has certainly given me ideas about what to do with it to make it a feature. As always dear friend, thank you for sharing your lovely outing with us.

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  39. Dear Desiree,
    Thank you for sharing "Willie's" unique art form with us. He's so creative and he has such an eye for the unique and individual. The only object that wouldn't work well here or in Minnesota is the bathtub filled with water. We have so many mosquitoes and they breed in standing water.

    You know, Desiree, your avocation truly is helping all of us become more creative gardeners. You are leaving your imprint on gardens around the world.

    Peace.

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  40. Awwww, I'm turnin' pea green with envy here. It looks so warm and sunny there, it's cold and sleetin' like nobodies business here. Booger~bite!!!

    God bless ya and have an incredible day baskin' in your warm sunshine.

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  41. Oh my! So many creative ideas! And, as always, your fine photography! Thank you for another terrific tour!

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  42. Love this! Reminds me of Turnip Seed Nursery in Fayetteville, GA. Don't know if they have a site or not.

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  43. Hi Desiree... sadly I have not yet visited this lovely place!!I will make a special effort to pop in. It is just delightful and so much inspiration. thank you kindly for your lovely visits and comments. I am lagging so way behind blog reading and blogging that I need a few days behind my pc!!

    VEronica

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  44. Guess which nursery I'll be heading to next for some more inspiration.

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