Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kirk House & Gardens

Yesterday I went up to the Kirk House, it is about 10 minutes from my house.. The Kirk House is ran by one of our Garden Club members, Ruth. Her great grandparents built the house in 1914. It is absolutely amazing. It is a craftsman style house, situated on four acres. The Kirk House is now used for weddings, meetings, and parties.
Ruth has graciously offered to let the Club use the greenhouse, and the gardens for our plant sale next year. A few of us went up to discuss the plant sale. We left with a lot of goodies as well.
Ruth's mother lives in another home located on the four acres. She is 90 years old, and has been given an incredible gift! She makes ceramic vegetables and flowers. They are out of this world. She is world renowned, and her pieces of made to order. She has been in 100's of magazines, and you can find her pieces in many museums across the country. She started doing it as a hobby with her mother, just to give her mother something to do. Mary Kirk Kelly is now known all over for her masterpieces. The first time I saw her work was at a fellow garden club members home. I was blown away. They are very delicate. Here are a few pictures of the house. I couldn't get a good picture of the front. You can click on the photo to enlarge. Some of the flowers at the garden. I left with a bucket full of cuttings, and plants I dug up. Notice the variegated hydrangea at the bottom, 2nd from left. It is beautiful. It is a miniature and does not get as big as a normal hydrangea. The flower on the bottom row, 4th picture is a Gloriosa Lily. This is one of my favorites. It is an old flower. I got many of these from my grandma. I also got 5 or 6 more yesterday while I was there.
Ruth took us into her mothers studio. I could have a field day in there!!!! Ruth also works with her mother to create pieces...that way they can continue the artistic legacy. Please click on the photo to enlarge so you can see a close up of their work. They take real veggies, and make molds, then use ceramic to make the pieces. It is really mind blowing to see in person. They have made every vegetable, flower, leaf known to man. There must have been 500 molds on the shelves. They do take orders for custom pieces. I would love to have a piece of their work. It is amazing...I can't say enough about it. Have any of you ever heard of Mark Kirk Kelly? Do you have any of her pieces or know anyone that does?
Ruth told us a story about one of the pieces. Many years ago she received a call from a maid. The maid had broken a carrot that Ruth's mother had made. She said she needed a replacement made, she had broken it while dusting, and her employers had several, several pieces of her mothers work. She took the order, and it turns out that the owners were the Hearst's!!! She said she was blown away that they had her mother's pieces. Amazing to me that Mark Kirk Kelly, from Creola, Alabama....has become world renowned for her little veggies.
Here is a link to the Kirk House & Gardens. You can read more about it, and see Mark Kirk Kelly. http://northmobilegardensociety.blogspot.com/2009/03/hydrangea-happenings.html

16 comments:

EB said...

The cup and saucer and the magnolia are both amazing. What an interesting place to read about too.

Jesikarena said...

as usual a great post!
I know that you keeping posting Hydrangeas because it makes me jealous : )
But Im really lovin the variegated one!
That lady is really talented!

Susie said...

I've never heard of her before but the work is really pretty.

Her home is gorgeous. How nice to get to hold your next plant sale there.

mlc said...

Aren't you jealous? We have a lady in our town that started a little painted wood block business called Cat's Meow. They make painted wooden block replica's of buildings. Now they are world famous. Just mind-blowing. So.. I totally understand.
I think I have seen some of those ceramic pieces of vegetables. Very awesome.

Marilyn Jones said...

This is an incredible post. Thank you for the trip! I never knew about the Kirks' work.

Ginger said...

Those ceramic veggies are amazing!

TheWritersPorch said...

DP....thanks for sharing! This place is really awesome!What a talented Lady! I love that Pink Bee balm!
~ Carol ~

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow what a neat place, DP... I love visiting places like that. That 90 year old woman is very creative, isn't she?????? Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

My Mother's Garden said...

Wow! I'm on my way to check out more about the Kirk house and gardens. What a wonderful story! Their art looks amazing!

Lucky you to be able to dig up plants and get cuttings! The variegated hydrangea looks beautiful...wish I could grow them down here in Fl.

Thanks for sharing these artists! ~ Karrita

Prairie Chicken... said...

Holy guacamole! The tree in your first series of pictures - bottom centre row - AMAZING.
Living in a northern climate its hard to get tree's to grow to such enormity, especially here on the prairies.

RainGardener said...

Hey DP I'm so far behind with this nice weather we're having. Came and read this yesterday and went to leave comment and something happened - didn't get back.
You seem to enjoy your Garden club so much and it is such a busy club you are very lucky. Getting to go through all of the gardens and do things all the time. I joined ours when I first moved here and it was the greatest bunch of ladies. Then some new blood came in and seems some of the really neat older ones passed on and it just wasn't the same. I quit then years later my girlfriend signed me up again. But it still wasn't the same as it had been originally. We had a plant exchange and I potted up about 40 plants and people forgot about it. I was so disappointed. I finally just quit again. I might join the one in the next town - another friend belongs to it. I know our old one use to be such fun and the neatest bunch of ladies.
Anyway sorry for venting but you keep enjoying your group and I love your posts with all of the places you get to go to.

Dirt Princess said...

I am glad ya'll enjoyed this. I really want one of her pieces. I want to get my mom a piece as well

Becca's Dirt said...

The Kirk House is something. It is beautiful and the gardens are awesome. I have seen Ms Kirks work and she is so meticulous with the pieces. Nice post. Becca

Anonymous said...

My sister in Seattle saw this blog long before I did. She has high speed internet and I do not. Finally got my slow speed to open it up. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for the kind words about Kirk House and my mom Mary Kirk Kelly. Ruth

Anonymous said...

I have a large bowl full of Mary Kirk Kelly's wonderful fruits and veggies. I inherited them after my brother's death. He loved her work. I love the pieces as well but I'm now in my 70's and have no childre. I am interested in selling my pieces of Mary Kirk Kelly's work.

Dirt Princess said...

Anonymous - How can I get in touch with you about selling the pieces? You can email me a aprilcjohnson(at)yahoo(dot)com

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