Saturday, September 16, 2000

Stained-glass garden

West Chester woman's art makes flowers sparkle

By Nancy Jackson
Enquirer contributor

        It is always a delight to visit gardens that bear the personal stamp of the creator. The garden of Jann Carrier in West Chester is the effort of a stained-glass artist and avid gardener who decorates her garden with her work.

        Ms. Carrier carefully places her glass works among plants that reflect and emphasize the colors of her artwork. In her white garden, dainty fairy forms with pearlescent glass wings are placed within the bobbing flowers of the salvia “White Nymph.” Nearby, a birdbath bowl has been lined with brightly colored pieces of glass depicting two goldfish swimming in a lavender and lapis lazuli blue background. The lavender flowers of obedient plant (physostegia) emphasize the colors in the bowl.

  • Favorite plant: “It depends on the season,” Ms. Carrier says. “I always look forward to the huge blooms of the tree peony in the spring. In late summer, I love the Japanese anemone. The flowers are beautiful and graceful on long, wiry stems that last a long time.
  • Gardening tip: “Don't be afraid to move things around, like furniture in your house. If you see something blooming in one part of your garden, and think it might look wonderful with a plant somewhere else, move it. I'm always relocating plants in my garden to find the best combination of colors or textures.”
        A concrete statue of a little girl lifting her apron holds pumpkins gathered by Ms. Carrier's daughter from vines at the feet of the statue. Tall stalks of purple-flowered verbena bonarienses add a splash of contrast.

        Custom-made red glass hummingbird feeders hang among the orange-red hips of “Constance Spry” climbing roses. A few steps away, Ms. Carrier's herb garden features a leaded glass cloche she made, ideal for giving delicate plants an early spring start.

        She made tall brass garden stakes topped with butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs that wave in the wind. A copper pipe trellis is decorated with a Victorian-style half-round piece, the colors of which emphasize the young clematis rambling at its feet. Atop Ms. Carrier's decorated garden shed is a cupola with a stained-glass weather vane in the shape of a Canada goose. Concrete steppingstones are decorated with original stained-glass designs.

        “I recently made a gazing ball with a bowling ball I purchased at a garage sale for $1.50,” Ms. Carrier says. “I covered it with pieces of mirror, iridized glass and glass globs that are placed in a random mosaic and grouted with black grout.” The ball is nestled among pulmonaria, bleeding heart and other shade-tolerant plants, brightening an otherwise dark area.

        Ms. Carrier prides herself on recycling found objects for her garden. An old wood window frame, its original glass long gone, is perched among purple coneflowers and foxglove in one of her perennial gardens. The casual visitor could miss the opalescent glass spider web Ms. Carrier has placed in one corner.

        “There was an open space among the evergreens here, where the kids would cut through the yard,” she says. “This seems to fill the space nicely, with something that is pretty to look at.”

        Every gardener hopes for wonderful color during the growing season. With the addition of her glass creations, Ms. Carrier has planned for color even after the cold weather puts her garden to bed.

       Jann Carrier sells stained-glass garden ornaments at select craft shows, including the Loveland Greenhouse's “Fall ... In Love” event 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 30 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1; 11924 Lebanon Road; 683-1581.

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