This past summer my friend Amanda and I were out for a drive on a business errand. On the way back, a little under an hour from being back home, I noticed a sign on the highway for a spot I had seen a picture of and had saved as something to check out at a later date. I’m a sucker for a long rambling drive into parts unknown and happening upon new and notable things along the way.
So I asked Amanda, the driver, if she would take a slight detour from our errand and check out this unknown spot with me. It turned out to be a great discovery and with the right person – I love it when that happens! Both of us are absolutely smitten with gardens and plants and outdoor spaces and just being in them without much of an agenda. We are both the same type of introverted, slightly loner, creatives who soak up spaces that pique the imaginations of our inner world. And anything that is slightly overgrown, feels unspoiled and a little like a secret garden that we just happened upon, is even better.
This is what it felt like when we found Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, North Carolina. The grounds were landscaped but slightly wild, obviously planted with intention years ago but left slightly neglected for a while and allowed to grow out naturally in a beautiful way. Small wooden barns covered in ivy and lush green leaves, wild and native flowers, and bulbs intermixed with a picnic table, small sculptures and even a porch swing.
When I was in high school I would go on treks by myself a lot. There was a nearby graveyard that I would walk through often. It wasn’t spooky, but it was quiet and isolated and scenic and I could be alone with my thoughts. Near to the graveyard was a large tree in a great big field, just far enough from civilization that I could again, escape into my head, and on separate occasions I would go here too to ponder and just be. The grounds of Cedar Creek Gallery feel like the kind of place I could spend hours like that if I lived closer. The slightly hippie vibe of the space appeals to me as well. I think that too comes from growing up in the valley of a nearby mountain where barefooted, musical, and artistic people were plenty.
While I was distinctly more taken with the grounds on this first trip, the actual gallery features a large number of fine art crafts and pottery and is worth a look. Dotted on the grounds are kilns and ovens, pottery and glass making studios that are occupied by working artists.
Near the parking lot is a plant nursery with rows of plants in flats for purchase. This weekend they host their annual pottery and glass festival with pottery, wood turning and fiber dying demonstrations. For me though, being there with no one around except my friend, quietly discovering alongside each other, it was perfect.
iphone images by me, Michelle Smith