That is but one of the many framed sayings interspersed throughout the gardens and workshops of Eddie Foisy or as he is fondly known, Uncle Eddie.
Tacked on one wall is a torn piece of paper that says ‘Question Reality’. A sign on his blacksmith shop states ‘J. Gargary’, the blacksmith in one of his favorite books, Dicken’s, ‘Great Expectations’. And the sign over the outside entrance into to his workshop says, ‘Windlewisp’, Robin Hood’s refuge deep within Sherwood Forest.
Gardening has always been his passion and on few acres of land in the middle of Cape Cod he has created his own kingdom based on the world in which he was happiest as a boy. The land of Faeries, Camelot, Robin Hood, Dickens and Shakespeare have come alive within the guise of country gardens filled with towering colorful hollyhocks, six-foot tall foxglove, ladies mantle, mugwort, sage and varieties of mint. Old gnarled trees, now guarding serpentine paths, seem to have been waiting for him to define them and add his carefully constructed castles with turrets, small stone mounds where Faeries might live or a hovel for a visiting gnome amongst them. After all, he tells visiting children, there has to be someplace for Isabelle, the resident faerie to live as well as the Tooth Faerie, who spends most of the summer here.
His road to creating these gardens and this life was not an easy one. An artist, creator and academic, Eddie Foisy was born with Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary twitching. His parents called it a nervous twitch and it was never an issue at home. However, he was teased in school and as a result, retreated into the world of literature. Books transported him from the mystical land of Narnia to the fantasies of Alice in Wonderland. Eddie began to explore the world by traveling through history and delving into subjects from medicine to cooking to agriculture. Tourette’s might have determined the course of Eddie’s life, but it was he who turned it into a positive and creative force.
The Plantings – An Apothecary Garden
When Eddie initially began clearing the overgrown 19th century farmland, visions from his readings of the Middle Ages when Kings, chivalry and the belief in magic existed, inspired him to create a Medieval Apothecary garden as the base of his garden philosophy. Also known as a Physic or Infirmary gardens, herbs and flowers are grown for medicinal use but are mixed in the same beds as non-useful flowers and vegetables. The Monks believed that an Apothecary garden should be beautiful and restorative. Even if non-edible, all flowers and things that grew were nourishment for the soul. As a matter of fact, a walk through the garden was prescribed as a cure for depression.
Friends, neighbors, school children or folks who have heard of Uncle Eddie find their way to his gardens. Hundreds have entered through the gates and are awed by the neatly laid out garden paths with castle turrets peaking out. Enchantment takes over as people begin to slow their steps to a meander when they realize they’ll miss details should they hurry. Tall Valerian, Russian Comfrey and Queen Anne’s lace blow in the wind like clouds over the faerie sized stone castles. Children and adults kneel down to look through the miniature doors and lead glass windows of faerie houses in hopes of spotting Isabelle the Faerie or perhaps they’ll find a chalice embedded in a mound of moss that could have once belonged to a knight or even King Arthur’s himself. Eddie smiles when they ask whose it is, for that is when he knows his intention has been accomplished. He has made people question reality, to think and rediscover the curiosity of the child they once were simply by walking through his gardens.
“I always leave something that is no longer alive in the garden,” Uncle Eddie says of a lifeless tree set amongst the vibrant colors of the plants. “It reminds me of the passage of time. Life is made of moments and every moment should be cherished.”
Reality is for people who lack imagination…..
Eddie’s website has much more information. Please visit it at Uncle Eddie’s World.
Should you like to have a castle made for your garden or your gardens designed by Eddie Foisy, please call or email him.
Eddie Foisy opens his gardens to folks who wants to see them by request. If you are in the Cape this summer, give him a jingle at 1-508-432-2080
Guest Author Bio
Cynthia Bogart is a former magazine editor for Better Homes & Gardens and is the editor and founder of The Daily Basics, a home & lifestyle magazine and blog who’s premise is based on cultivating traditions for today’s lifestyle.
Visit Her Website: The Daily Basics