Giant Terra Cotta Sculptures

Giant Terra Cotta Sculptures

Part of Ep. 2005 Hidden Gems

In a private garden in Sturgeon Bay, 13 foot tall people made out of terra cotta garden pots tower over a delightful hidden gem of a garden, complete with a sunken picnic area, pond and more.  Even the terra cotta French poodle is happy there.

Premiere date: Jun 24, 2012

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:

We are in the private garden of Dale and Joan Jeanquart of Sturgeon Bay. We're right in downtown Sturgeon Bay, and this hidden gem is just wonderful. Dale, thank you for sharing it with our viewers. This is a work of love that started when? How long have you been working on this?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Since 1979, we moved here.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Wow.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

We've been able to stay here ever since. We continue to-- Our garden grows as we grow I guess.  We add on every year. This is the culmination of 31 years of gardening.

 

Shelley Ryan:

This is a full-time job! Over here, you've got what I'd have to call the white garden. The nicotiana, I can smell from here. Everywhere I look there's color, texture I mean, how do you stop? We could be here for days looking at this! This is wonderful.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

When you find fragrant plants and try to keep them together. The white garden is hard to do. I would say it's the worst-- hardest garden to do, I should say.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Yeah, but I see something. I see something that looks a lot harder.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Yes.

 

Shelley Ryan:

What is this? This is incredible!

 

Dale Jeanquart:

This is an adaptation of a 1750s French garden.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Where did you come up with an idea like this?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Eight years ago at the Chicago Flower Show they had a large indoor display. I came home with that thought and built my own.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Joan got a little upset with this one?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

No. She knew what was happening as it was being built.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Okay, tell me how do you build something like this? I mean, first of all, this is truly terra cotta?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Terra cotta. It's built on a two-inch pipe frame and the pots, you have to make larger holes in the pots in order to accommodate the two-inch pipe.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So these just slide over the pipe? They're not glued or screwed together or anything like that?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

They're loose on there.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So, I could conceivably do this if I had the patience.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

You could do it if you had the patience, yeah.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You've got a guy, a woman, and what looks like a French poodle.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Correct. That's "Terra," "Cotta," and "Francois."

 

Shelley Ryan:

I love it! You've got plants that seem to be quite happy on them. What is the skirt on the woman made out of?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

That's all hydrangea vine.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I assume you don't want things you have to water a lot. That's doing well.

 

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Hers are fine, because they're in the ground but everything else is in a pot. What's the variegated plant on both of these? Plectranthus.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Plectranthus, I can't say it either today! Then I see, it looks like hens and chicks in the guy's knees.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Correct.

 

Shelley Ryan:

And on the dog. I mean, these are great, but winter hardy?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

The plants?

 

Shelley Ryan:

No, the pots. I'm sorry.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Oh yes, the pots are. They're treated with a cement and brick sealer.

 

Shelley Ryan:

So you have to bring the plants in.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Take the plants out and throw them away, actually.

 

Shelley Ryan:

What about the soil in them?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

You have to empty the soil. Then we fill the pots with evergreens and Christmas tree lighting. We put wreaths and Christmas trees on his arm, and turn it into a Christmas display.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I would imagine it doesn't matter what time of year since these are close to the road that these are a real show stopper.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

There's always traffic stopping backing up, taking pictures.

 

Shelley Ryan:

These are what, 12 feet tall?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Well, better than that with the headgear on them. They're a little better than 13 almost 14.

 

Shelley Ryan:

The neatest thing I think about your garden is this isn't the only wonderful spot. You've got another spot that's just very unusual. Can we go look at that?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Let's go look at it.

 

Shelley Ryan:

You know, Dale, I love the sound of running water. I think every garden should have a pond. I got to figure out a way to get one in my yard. I think what makes yours really special is you've got some plants that are awesome. That's a tropical plant I've never seen out of a container.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Snake palm is the common name, or a Buddha plant. It's a large palm that you dig.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Like a bulb.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

I dry it out, keep it in the garage over winter, and then replant it in the spring.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's a tropical plant but it's apparently quite happy out here in the summer time.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

It does a fine job out here.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Fantastic, I like that. I've seen these all over your yard. This is a small one. What is this?

 

Dale Jeanquart:

That's a Twisty Baby Black Locust. It's one of the most asked about plants in the yard. It's a shrub or a small tree.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Very architectural interest, just really beautiful. Then, this is a plant you refer to and you've got it ringing this garden feature but you refer to it with a special term.

Dale Jeanquart:

Right, this is an evergreen, it's Bergenia, and it's my echo plant, which I use throughout the gardens. Some of it is located about every 25 feet.

 

Shelley Ryan:

It's the plant that echoes and kind of ties the whole huge yard together.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

To my garden.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Well, besides wanting a pond, I want this other feature you've got here. You have a sunken garden or a sunken fire pit. You built this for a special reason.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

When we first moved here, there wasn't any foliage or trees and we had stronger winds than we have now that things have matured. We used it as a windbreak and an entertainment area.

 

Shelley Ryan:

I love it. Before we finish, we have to give credit to the other half of your gardening team.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Joan, my wife, has contributed 50% or more to the gardens, and does half the work for sure.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Well, you guys have done a fantastic job.

 

Dale Jeanquart:

Thank you. Thank you, Shelley, glad you enjoyed it.

 

Shelley Ryan:

Love it.

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