Sharon’s Way

When we re-landscaped our front garden a few years ago, we added a deck and a ramp. Our criteria was simple: my sister Sharon’s MS limits her mobility.  We wanted a ramp that didn’t look like a ramp, but that enabled her to move from curb to threshold. The amazingly talented JP Bergez came up with this:

ramp collage

Friends seeing this for the first time can’t believe it’s a ramp and not just a walkway. It’s a beautiful example of form follows function, coined by architect Louis Sullivan.

At some point we decided to call it Sharon’s Way with plans to make a sign.  It’s not so much that I procrastinated for (cough, cough) four years (cough, cough). I just couldn’t find anything that I liked. At one point I bought a plastic garage sale sign with stakes thinking I would use that as a base and make my own.  Not knowing where to start, the sign gathered dust.

Then about a month ago it hit me: try Etsy!  For the uninitiated, Etsy is an e-commerce website specializing in vintage and hand-made goodies. The site will hold you captive if you’re not careful, much like Pinterest or Facebook.  Within a few clicks, I found a vendor that makes light-weight, metal signs and will customize your order.  Bingo!

sharon's way ramp

Sharon’s Way

Dot 2 Dot Designs

Dot 2 Dot Designs

sign closeup

Close-up Details

You order and pay for the sign, then she sends you a design based on your parameters. I wanted something simple using our favorite colors of purple and green. Sharon also loves dragonflies. The sign arrives in two pieces, then links together with binder rings. I attached our sign to an old miniature flag post and staked it along the garden path.

You can see Wendy’s other creations in her Etsy shop at Dot 2 Dot Designs.

Etsy Love

A number of my friends and fellow bloggers sell art and wares on Etsy.  Please consider showing them some love by checking out their site.

Gorgeous Handmade Crochet and Vintage Home-wares

Whimsical Art, Hand-Crafted Cards and Sparkly Things

Organic Flower Essence Aromatherapy & Consultation

Feathers, nests and other original drawings

Front Garden Remodel Turns Two

Two years ago this month, we “remodeled” our front yard.  For years we talked about adding a front deck or patio.  We live on a neighbor-friendly block with kids galore so we were often out front socializing.  We chatted with friends standing in the driveway or sitting on chairs in the garage.  We eventually added a bench and then a swing, but what we longed for was a full-sized patio or deck.

Around the same time, it was becoming more and more difficult for my sister to access our home.  Our entry way consisted of two concrete steps, original to the 50-year-old house, and her MS made it difficult for her to come and go.

We hired the talented team of Bergez and Associates and Natural Bridges Landscaping, to create our suburban paradise.  We’ve found so much joy with our outdoor room!  My sister can come and go unassisted, a boon to her independence.  We also realized that the ramp will allow us to age in place since the house is now easily accessible.

It’s amazing to look back at the newly installed garden.  The plants established beautifully.

Here’s a look:

Garden and Deck, June 2012

Garden and Deck, June 2010

Near the Magnolia: 2010/2012

Kitty Corner, With Special Thanks to Candace