Skulls, Fairies and Fantasy

I really love Asheville, North Carolina, and West Asheville in particular. There is a certain vibe there that appeals to my sensibilities.

Above: Signage as you walk in the door at the West End Bakery.

The Garden Bloggers Fling 2012 was held in dear to my heart Asheville, thanks to my friend Christopher of Outside Clyde’s tireless efforts to make it happen. He wanted the bloggers to see West Asheville, especially a place he had discovered on the West Asheville Garden Stroll soon after he had moved to North Carolina from Hawaii. That place was called Wamboldtopia, named for Wamboldt Avenue on which it is located. When he first showed the photos from his visit there, I couldn’t believe such a place existed. It was full of fanciful stonework and incredible artistry. It was too wonderful to be real.

Above: The Grumpy Gardener aka Steve Bender has spotted the skeleton on the anchor who has two left feet. (Or is it two right?)

But exist it does, and what a treat for the bloggers to experience it. I do hope they were smitten by this masterpiece, still a work in progress, an example of what can be done by talented, hard working folks Damaris and Ricki Pierce on a small hillside with a modest home. It has been turned into a dreamscape of skulls, fairies and fantasy.

Wamboldtopia is about details, large and small.

Some are hidden, tiny little doors and abodes that could be easily missed if one doesn’t slow down and take time to explore the ups and downs and all arounds.

It is sweet and sinister, with a sense of humor thrown in.

There is a beautifully planted and tended garden there. Owner Damaris Pierce,left, is seen here with Janet, the Queen of Seaford.

Damaris is an inspiration to me. Her work with concrete and clay, how she incorporates whimsy into her work, how she uses what is at hand, all speak directly to my soul. I loved meeting her last October when Christopher and I visited to see if she would be willing to let nearly ninety garden bloggers climb around her garden. She mesmerized me with her charm, and cookies! We instantly connected and I consider her a friend. The storybook tower was awaiting a topper when we were there in the fall.

It seems to be finished for the most part now. I see she moved the gargoyles from the corners to the sides before adding the top. It looks perfect, Damaris!

Before leaving, we climbed up on the roof of the lower building for a better vantage point. The stone facade of the house can be seen more clearly from on high.

It’s the personal touches that make a house a home, don’t you agree?

Steering the ship of Wamboldtopia.

Other posts from Asheville Fling 2012:

Postcards from Asheville, the Fifth Fling

The Artfully Mello Garden

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Inspiration

Garden Art of Asheville Fling 2012


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17 Responses to Skulls, Fairies and Fantasy

  1. Steve says:

    Good Heavens, that place is unbelievable, Frances. Among all the stuff in the world I appreciate most, nothing quite takes the cake like creative work lovingly applied by people such as your friends there in West Ashville. I am immediately shoving them onto my Blogroll because I want to share them with others. Their website is also splendidly put together.

    Thanks Steve. If you ever get to Asheville, this place would be a must see. Also, ice cream from The Hop! Thanks for the linkage on the trendy rant, too, my friend.

  2. indygardener says:

    Yes, personal touches make a house a home and make a collection of plants a garden. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos, Frances.

    Hi Carol, thanks. I wish you had been in Asheville in time to visit Wamboldtopia. Your garden fairies back home would appreciate it, too. Perhaps another time…

  3. Oh yes, one of my very favorites. There is such a vibe there that it is palpable. Wonderful!

    Thanks Lisa, I agree. I actually feel younger while there!

  4. Barbara H. says:

    Wonderful. The stone facade is amazing. There must be a lot of good energy in that place!

    Thanks Barbara. Everything about it is fantastic. It makes me smile.

  5. Ha haha I know that lady. I loved Asheville, more than I could have imagined. Loved all the artwork throughout the city, especially in this garden. So very happy we got to visit with the Wamboldtopians (Damaris and Ricki). Each posting of this fun garden shows something that I missed. It was a feast for the eyes, something fun at every turn.

    It was a good match-up, Janet! I am so glad you loved Asheville, it has much to offer everyone, not just gardeners. I like seeing all the posts, too. Some of these places I have been to several times and never noticed what some others have shown.

  6. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I was absolutely enchanted with Walmboldtopia. Damaris & Ricki really inspired me and I’m still processing all the emotions and ideas I took away with me. I am SO glad you & Christopher included it on our tour!

    Good to hear, Cindy. I think Damaris and Ricki have done an amazing job transforming their house and garden into the fantasy playground that it is now. It is a work in progress, though, so who knows what it will be like in the future?

  7. sandy lawrence says:

    I do wish that Damaris could have the time to offer some of her smaller pieces for sale online, like the glass artist from whom you bought your garden delights at the last Fling. I love Damaris’s work and the macabre twist w/humor is definitely me. Thanks for the photo tour. It must have been unbelievable in person.

    Hi Sandy, thanks for visiting. Damaris is a fine artist and inspiration. Wamboldtopia is incredible.

  8. Truly, what a wild and wonderful garden–absolutely one of my favorites! I’m amazed at the creativity and talent of Damaris and Ricki. I have one of her portals, and I’m enlisting the kids to help construct a fairy garden around it. I’m so glad you and Christopher introduced us to Wamboldtopia! Thank you!

    Thanks Julie. How exciting for you and your kids to build the fairy garden around Damaris’ wonderful art. Every garden should contain an area for fairies!

  9. skeeter says:

    I loved this Enchanting Fantasy Garden! I was most inspired by all the whimsy, art and rocks! The Saint says I have a Rock Fetish! Ha, After seeing this garden, he knows he is in trouble as much more shall be added to my garden… Thank you so much for your part in making this Fling Happen! It was awesome and I cannot stop thinking about all the fun gardens in Asheville. I will be back again some day and you know a trip or two to the Hop will be on the agenda….

    That is wonderful, Skeeter. I am so glad you and The Saint made it to Asheville, and what a pleasure it was to meet you both in person. Wamboldtopia is so inspirational, isn’t it? Enjoy your favorite flavors at The Hop, too!

  10. Oh, how fun! I love the whimsy. I can see I really missed out with the fling this year–but a son’s college graduation only comes around once in a lifetime. I must visit Asheville one of these days–I can tell I would feel right at home. 🙂

    Hi Plant Postings, thanks for reading along here. Of course a child’s college graduation trumps the fling, but maybe you can visit Asheville, or attend a future fling. I would love to meet you!

  11. Lola says:

    I’ve loved all the post on this fling. Each has their own visions of all that beauty. I too enjoyed Ashville when I was there yrs. ago. Lots to see & do. Thanks for all your efforts to get this fling in order.

    Thanks Lola. Asheville is a great place to visit and/or live. Wamboldtopia is a masterpiece.

  12. Rose says:

    This was such an amazing place; I doubt there is another like it in the whole world. From the Rock Pirate himself greeting us when we arrived to all the little hidden treasures, I enjoyed every minute of this tour. The only bad thing was that my camera died soon after arriving here; thanks for showing us details I had forgotten about.

    Thanks Rose. Oh, I am so sorry about your camera giving out. I know the feeling, it happened to me in England. I am glad you enjoyed Wamboldtopia, it is one of a kind, for sure.

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