Recently I went on a bus trip which was a first in itself. My mom and I headed out with the ultimate destination Little Rock, Arkansas with a stop in southern, Illinois along the way. When I told her we were going to a garden container site, she was not excited. That was, until we got there. Charlotte and Daniel Ward, garden designers have carved a beautiful spot on a 100 acre hilltop in the Shawnee Hills near Pomona, Illinois.
The area is known for its wineries, wild beauty, Southern Illinois University, but not really for thriving businesses. Daniel Ward attended school at SIU decades ago and lamented that if there was ever a chance to make a living in this lovely neck of the woods he would do it. When he and Charlotte set out on an adventure to manufacture their own dry lime stone planters, pedestals, finials, figures, pool surrounds, benches, birdbaths and beautiful barriers in Arts & Crafts, Prairie and Traditional styles, for exterior residential and commercial use they chose a rundown farm and got to work.
One look at the original pictures of the house and buildings and you realize what a labor of love and amount of work went into the creation of this beautiful place where they make classic containers. Needless to say before we left Longshadow mom and I both just wanted to sit in a chair on the hilltop under a tree and glance from side to side to take it all in.
It is not often I have met employees that have such glowing words for their job. Doing something you love is not a job, but a joy and the 20 some people engaged in their architecture/art seem to fit into that category.
If you are ever heading down Pamona way, do yourself a favor and call ahead and make an appointment to take a look around the Wards realization of their dream. On the bus heading to Little Rock, the Wards came along to see the garden destinations that awaited us and took the time to tell me their story for an upcoming article in Farm World
Longshadow is located at 83 Longshadow Lane, Pomona, Illinois 62975. Call 618-893-4831 for more information or to make an appointment to see their amazing products.