This is the arched trellis arbor that caught my eye as we were driving back along Highway 30-A to our home base after visiting “Seaside” and buying the T-shirt;)
I begged my husband to “just stop for a minute” to let me get a picture of that garden. He obliged, but little did he, or me for that matter, realize that I was about to go down a rabbit trail to a little piece of Wonderland.
I tentatively stood at the outside of the garden and started taking pictures of the charming birdhouse mailbox, then peeking over the hedge and past the arched arbor I followed the dusty brick road and barged right in, no, make that fell down the rabbit hole after the white rabbit. “Just a few pictures can’t hurt”, I thought. I snapped a few of lovely little vignettes before realizing: this was a gift shop! I felt slightly better about trespassing for my gluttonous desire of garden pictures for my dear blog readers (yes, I will blame it on you…it was all for you!)
Inside was a display of tasteful treasures in all the colors that I have come to love … the colors of sand and sea and roses, beach sunrises, and turquoise waters. Soon joined by another customer, I remembered the family out in the car, but then struck up conversation with a Southern gentleman, who humbly says he is just married to the creator of this gardened place, so full of unique personality and Southern grace.
It was Jo Ann Mathis and her mother who began and then filled this garden with the butterfly spangled plantings, the small circular Victorian garden, and the shady seating surrounded by blooms. She runs the shop that is filled with shelves of pretty things. I learned that I was not the first to want to photograph this place. Mary Englebreit had also been drawn into this intimate and quiet place off of the busy thoroughfare… her people didn’t even have to stage anything I’m told. And I believe it… as you can see from even my amateur pictures.
You can see the birdhouse mailbox that drew my interest and the arched arbor in the background. I would have liked to have stayed and gotten an interview and more pictures, but my tired family was waiting and I found they were actually worried that the garden behind the gate had swallowed me whole! I apologized profusely and went away with the satisfaction of seeing a garden that personal love and creativity had built.
If you wish to visit Pickets gift shop, it is located at the corner of Nightcap St. and 30-A in Seagrove.
Open from 10-5 on Tues. thru Sat.
Jo Ann Mathis’ business number is 850.231.2036