Asheville Garden Bloggers Fling: Curve Studios Garden recycles junk into garden structure


Lunch on the first day of the Garden Bloggers Fling in Asheville, North Carolina, was billed as BBQ and gourmet ice cream from The Hop—yum! Shopping for locally made pottery and art at Curve Studios was promised as well—and was fantastic. But what I didn’t expect was the charmingly quirky garden filled with repurposed metal artifacts, pulled perhaps from the surrounding warehouses-turned-art-studios.


The garden is the creation of textile artist Pattiy Torno, who cheerfully introduced herself as she took her own photos of the bloggers noshing on BBQ throughout the garden. She has a talent not only for plant combos like the one pictured at the top of this post but also for creatively reusing cast-off materials, like this curving path of metal plates set in gravel.


Other repurposed objects are more subtle, like this tiny sedum planter made out of an old…what is that? I don’t know, but it’s cool. Surrounding it is a beautiful medley of rose campion, ‘Blackbird’ euphorbia, iris, and ‘Angelina’ sedum.


A closer look at the metal planter and the blooming ‘Blackbird’ euphobia


Pacific Northwest-style combos of glowing chartreuse and burgundy foliage appear too, like this pairing of creeping Jenny and barberry. A chipped granite block punctuates the outer corner of the stone-edged bed.


The garden stretches half the length of the parking lot between two art studios. A large shrub-and-perennial border along the sidewalk hides the interior of the garden from view, sheltering a formally shaped gravel patio which is entered on this side through an arbor and the metal-plate path.


A closer look at the rusty garden seating, and that beautiful table with leaf cut-outs


If I hadn’t read on the Curve website that Pattiy designed the steel fence herself and hired a local craftsman to build it for her, I’d have thought it was made of salvaged material too. Doesn’t it have the look of creatively repurposed wheels or something?


Larkspur blooms in abundance in front, nearly obscuring the fence.


A rusty metal post topped with a metal orb serves as a tall corner post.


Here’s another one that marks the doorway between the gravel patio and a lawn beyond.


A wider view: gravel patio in front (with Frances of Fairegarden and Barbara of Mr. McGregor’s Garden) and two metal posts at the far end that mark the transition to the lawn garden.


The variegated, nearly white shrub in back is unknown to me, but I love the way it echoes the daisies in front, with purple spiderwort providing contrast in-between. Update: Lisa has ID’d it as variegated Japanese knotweed.


The living sidewalk in front of the garden is paved in recycled bricks turned on their sides, filled with gravelly soil, and planted with tiny sedum.


What a lovely place to enjoy our lunch!

For a look back at my post about the mountainside Gentling Garden, click here. Coming up next: The Goth-meets-fairy garden of Wamboldtopia.

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

16 Responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This was a sweet little garden tucked inbetween those art studios. The shrubby white and green plant is Japanese Knotweed. I think it will one day be deemed as an invasive. It reproduces so well. I don’t think you can kill it. Beautiful plant as it is.

    Oh dear, and it’s such a pretty plant. Well, she did make good use of it in this garden. Thanks for the ID, Lisa. —Pam

  2. Indie says:

    What a lovely, cozy sort of garden! I love gardens like that. All the salvaged materials make it seem older – it hints at a history and all sorts of stories behind it.

    So true, Indie. Maybe that’s why I like the look. —Pam

  3. My favorite kind of garden, so interesting and reflects the owner’s personality.

    Just lovely, thanks for the visit.

    My pleasure, Shirley. —Pam

  4. You captured the garden and lunch beautifully. I did not even notice the fence. It’s awesome!

    It would be interesting to see the bones of this garden in the winter. I suspect a lot more would reveal itself. —Pam

  5. Alison says:

    I love that table with the leaf cutouts! What a great garden! Could the metal thingy with the sedum in it be an old meat grinder? I love this kind of garden where the repurposed art complements the plants, rather than overwhelms them.

    It could be, Alison. Asheville gardens are full of recycled and homemade art. You’ll see a lot more in my post tomorrow. —Pam

  6. Skeeter says:

    It was wonderful having lunch in such a beautiful surrounding! I loved the living sidewalk. And to think, I have put lots of bricks into the ground while hiding the holes! I have a new plan now! Ha….

    Great ideas for reusing stuff in the garden abounded in Asheville. —Pam

  7. Amazed that the Blackbird Euphorbia so truthfully echoses the colour of the rusted metal artefact.

    It really does. How I wish ‘Blackbird’ would grow for me in Austin, but I’ve tried three and they all melted away. —Pam

  8. Frances says:

    Oh Pam, thanks so much for taking photos at the Curve. I was too busy eating to take any, but this is one of my most favorite spots in all of Asheville. Art and gardens, the best of the best. There is 12 Bones across the street and a rock yard across the other street. I have spent some time on this little corner of West Asheville, and recommend it to all who visit.

    It really is a great spot—I loved the food, shopping, and the lovely garden. —Pam

  9. Greggo says:

    The metal planter with the sedum looks like some type of manifold. If you know what that is..it’s like a distribution device. anyways it is being used in a creative way. Love your tours. Heavy metal!

    I do not know what a manifold is, Greggo, but yes, it’s cool to see old things being used creatively. Rock on! —Pam

  10. Glad to see gravel gardens! :-) great tour, thanks for sharing!

    It’s my pleasure, Freda. —Pam

  11. What a fun place! Love the brick idea.

    I know. Isn’t it clever? —Pam

  12. I thought that was the perfect spot for lunch….could have stayed a lot longer. At each turn there was something wonderful to take in. I love the rusty chairs and table nestled in that corner. Her plant material was so varied, great eye candy in every direction. You captured it all so well!!

    Thanks, Janet. Lunch always tastes better in a beautiful garden, doesn’t it? —Pam

  13. Jean says:

    I loved that garden and didn’t take a single picture there! Guess I was hungry. :-) The fence and metal/gravel paths were my favorites. I noticed the burgundy/chartreuse combo everywhere as well. I find it hard to translate that down south though.

    I agree, Jean. It’s hard to work that color combination in the steamy South. —Pam

  14. Rose says:

    How did I miss this?? Well, I do know–I was too busy talking and chowing down on the delicious lunch. Thanks so much for sharing these photos, Pam. Lisa and Beckie mentioned the metal dragonfly and praying mantis sculptures, too, which I also missed. Next time I’ll have to remember to look around before eating:)

    So nice to see you again and get the chance to visit! Great job of moderating our discussion Saturday night as well.

    Oh, I missed the insect sculptures! Maybe someone else took a picture. It was a treat to visit with you again, Rose. I hope you were able to fit all your plants in your car on the drive home! —Pam

  15. Denise says:

    Wonderful attention to line and detail here with a solid grasp of plant habits and showing them off — thanks, Pam!

    And lunch in such a setting was the icing on the cake! —Pam