Gardening As Art and Family History
by Cathy Lee Phillips, Newnan-Coweta Magazine
Odds are you’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Tim Davis has created more than a traditional garden with roses, pansies or even vegetables. His garden is eclectic, whimsical and a tribute to his family history. Instead of being confined to a small backyard area, this garden spills into every corner of his property.
The work began when Tim first built his house near Cedar Creek Road 13 years ago. Thirteen years from now, Tim, most likely, will still be adding, deleting and creating his grand and groovy garden.
As the third generation owner of Georgia Well Company, Tim is obviously experienced at digging in the dirt. When he was a child, he often accompanied his Dad to job sites. Tim, though, wasn’t fascinated with the elaborate machinery or the thrill of finding water. He was there for one reason only—MUD!
“I loved getting dirty then and still love it now,” Tim smiles.
Combine that with his love of color, an amazing imagination, and a genetically gifted green thumb and you’ll recognize that Tim was born to plant and create. He, in fact, designed his home then sought plans that closely matched his dream. His house is adorned to reflect his love of colors. Most rooms are painted in simple tones. Bright artwork and special mementos add the color that pops in every room.
Is there a theme to his indoor and outdoor décor?
“Yes,” Tim shares. “The theme is whatever is colorful, meaningful and makes me happy.”
A comfortable sunroom overlooks a beautiful front yard. The garden area behind the house is accessed through either the living room or bedroom. Designed to appeal to all the senses, you actually hear this garden before you see it. Guests are greeted by the peaceful whisper of water flowing from fountains and a tall, stacked stone waterfall.
Stepping inside, guests gasp at a unique collection of metal, sculpture, plants, flowers and “up-cycled” pieces he has created and collected. A blue metal puffer fish is surrounded by painted tin mushrooms, gazing balls, mosaics and rocks of all shapes, sizes and colors. One of Tim’s prized pieces was created in a local pottery class he took years ago. As a final project, each of the eight students in his class made eight pots. Each member of the class had a piece from every other student. Tim placed his eight pots on top of each other. This piece sits in his garden and stirs good memories of friends he made as he learned.
Tim has created multiple bottle trees that provide year-round color around his property. Steeped in an African tradition of keeping evil away, these lawn decorations are most often made from rebar welded together to resemble a tree trunk. Colorful bottles representing tree leaves are turned upside-down and placed on the “limbs” of the bottle tree. Congo folklore says evil spirits are attracted to the bright bottles. If they come close enough, they are trapped. As the wind blows, the bottles make a moaning sound, representing spirits crying to be released.
Doesn’t hurt to trap a few evil spirits, does it?
The backyard garden features a koi pond populated by an abundance of orange, white, black and yellow residents. A few albino catfish keep them company. The enormous pond is fed by water that tumbles over the scenic waterfall, drifts down a rocky creek and empties into the gigantic pool.
Multiple sitting areas feature tables and chairs painted in matching tones. These bright features bring color to the garden no matter what the season. Each area has its own personality and unique view of the rest of the garden. Collectively, they provide great space for entertainment.
The Davis garden also includes a black bamboo forest. While on a drill rig one day, Tim noticed a large growth of the bamboo. Determined to transplant a piece to his yard, he busted one good shovel trying to reach the roots. The four pieces of bamboo he originally transplanted have multiplied into a virtual jungle of the dark wood.
Tim honors his family history by displaying tools that belonged to his father and grandfather. Many items unique to the well-drilling industry are shown throughout the yard. Bit gauges pressed into the ground look like giant lollipops. A percussion bit for drilling sits next to the lollipops. Tim recycled water storage tanks from a well pump by cutting them with a grinder, shaping and painting the pieces to look like seven-foot-tall sunflowers.
Who’s to say that only vegetables and flowers make a garden? Different people have different opinions. Most would agree that a garden should bring peace, pleasure and reflect the personality of the owner.
Tim Davis is happy, creative and unique. That’s how his garden grows.
...............................For more stories from the May / June issue of Newnan-Coweta Magazine, visit: http://newnancowetamag.com .