Sally Demeter’s “artscape” of a garden in Morrill is third in the Belfast Garden Club’s 2015 Open Garden Days on Friday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Master Gardener has pushed back the woods and turned her property into a playful showcase starring shiny orbs, metal sculptures and the sound of running water.
The yard sits at the end of a long, shaded drive guarded by large erratic stones and planted with daylilies and hostas. She and her husband built their house 15 years ago, after selling their 175-year-old farm across the road. Demeter had only planted vegetables at the farm, but with more free time and the lure of what she calls “a blank canvas,” she began ornamental gardening as well.
Initially, she had to overcome poor soil. “Every plant I planted had to have good stuff put in the hole,” she said. And when she lamented her shady lot, a fellow gardener suggested, “Cut ‘em down!” Demeter removed several trees, letting light onto a small hill that now holds terraced flowerbeds.
Near the top of the hill, a circular blade ran when the property was a sawmill, around the 1940s, Demeter guesses. Now, in the same spot, a copse of birches leans over a patch of oversized hypertufa mushrooms crafted by Demeter. Behind them sits a tiny, gated “cemetery” holding no graves, but with one her of family headstones—a castoff replaced by a larger one.
On the side of the house, a fountain gurgles into a pool of lily pads. The water meanders downstream to another pool. Near that, six raised beds—holding everything from dahlias to summer squash—feature drip irrigation on a timer. Watching over the garden is a glamorous scarecrow, wearing a blue robe and fresh flowers in her hat.
Demeter, who calls herself a “scrounger,” has dotted the property with her favorite things—metal sculptures and orbs of every size, including copper spheres that, on closer inspection, turn out to be bowling balls covered in pennies.
To get to the Demeter garden, take upper Waldo Avenue to Marsh Road. Turn left on Marsh Road and drive into Morrill Village. Turn left on Weymouth Road; 124 Weymouth Road is on the left.
A donation of $5 helps the Belfast Garden Club maintain 12 public gardens in Belfast and award two scholarships each year. Strips of eight tickets for $30 are on sale at any of the Open Gardens and at Left Bank Books in Belfast. For more information, call Martha Laitin at 323-2368.