For customers who have enjoyed strolling through our display garden over the years, these pieces will be quite familiar. Some may even remember how you reminisced and shared your memories of “the good old days.” For us, it has been surprising at the number of ladies who have said “Daddy used one of these or Grampa let me ride his horse while he plowed with one of these.” Those of you who have visited B & D Lilies know the story about how these treasures started as part of Bob’s collection of horse drawn farming equipment over 20 years ago, but ended up in Dianna’s display garden. The organizer of the family, Dianna, said “let’s build a garden around this stuff instead of having it sit all over the farm” and a new garden was born.
Taking nearly three summers to design and plant, the display area was first plowed, and then tilled. After leveling, Dianna spent hours on a riding mower following an elaborate design made on her computer. Early mornings would find her standing on the stump of an old Big Leaf Maple about 6 feet off the ground, clipboard in hand, sketching changes. A few minutes later she’d be using a grass rake to smooth out the previous day’s tire marks and start all over again. Our garden show patrons who are familiar with Dianna’s award winning “best in show” designs, will understand the care and detail that she put into making her perfect garden. She spent so much time surveying from that stump, that Bob wrote a parody of ‘Yertle the Turtle’. “. . .Then a low moan was heard from the bottom of the stack, it was the turtle named Bob, who just strained his back!”
Eventually the garden design was finalized with hundreds of little white planting stakes lining the shape of every island bed. The second summer a grid pattern was placed over the top of her design for installing the irrigation system followed by the setting of Bob’s treasures.
Dianna’s next step was to declare, “I need lots something from the field that is short.” After what was then 26 years of marriage, Bob knew better than to ask “what for” and the ever important “why lots?” and simply replied ‘Little Grapette’. Three days later, 1200 plants had been dug, trimmed, and divided for outlining every bed. In the fall of the third summer, lily bulbs, peonies, Culvers Root, Leycesteria Formosa, plus a dozen so called “dwarf” Lavatera (that all grew to 6 plus feet), along with deciduous azaleas, and an array of other perennials and shrubs were planted.
Now, 12 years later the garden is overgrown and everything needs to be dug and divided. Those of you who know Dianna realize that this means an entirely new layout and garden design – another 3 summers? With years of “I should-have-done” tucked away in her head, this will not be a one season project. A new garden also requires the moving of a dozen pieces of horse drawn history, BUT it also gave Bob the idea that this was his chance to maybe acquire his dream of a small steam powered tractor. A deal was stuck with Dianna; sell the pieces in the garden and “we will talk” about the tractor. Hope springs eternal! Dianna has contributed the “Heron by Lance” as her contribution to Bob’s future steam tractor and the search is on.
Listed here are the pieces that have been featured in our garden. The photos were taken in early December after the garden foliage had died back, allowing for a better view of each piece. ALL prices are for pick up at the farm, you haul. Want the entire collection for a large landscape project? Let’s talk.
Bring a flatbed for the larger items and Bob will help you load. Some pieces are historically important such as the Austin and Russell Graders, as well as the significant patented engineering advancements of the rare Dowden Potato Digger which probably should be in a museum. As garden display features, all will add a unique flavor to your design, be it Rock, English, Water, or “Wild”.
For more information or to schedule a time to inspect a piece before purchase, please email garden@bdlilies. We are about 1.5 hours northwest of Seattle. So, here is your change to enjoy and treasure nearly 150 years of farming and road building history in your garden.