Christine Kunkel is a mom, teacher and mosaic artist in town. She has a playful, funky personal style and warm, generous personality to go with it. About five years ago, she and her husband hired Janette Mestra, a local landscape architect, to create an outdoor space on the empty knoll next to their house. Since then, Christine has added her imaginative touch, using family pieces, found objects, garage sale finds and her own purchases in the area. During spring and summer, flowers and plants fill the beds, but during winter the garden decor stands out even more.
Her Buddha garden runs along the path from her kitchen to the foot of the wood steps that lead to the knolltop outdoor living area. Christine also makes and sells the driftwood mobiles.
When Christine’s mother passed away several years ago, friends gave her hydrangeas plants instead of cut flower arrangements. Christine planted them along the side of the path. To get an old-fashioned look to the petals, she mulched them with coffee grinds.
At one point, Christine’s husband told her not to put any more found objects in the yard; that same day, a friend gave them these vintage seats from Angel’s Stadium. Her husband let them stay.
At the top of the wooden steps, you enter the outdoor living space, which features a slate fountain and rectangular fire pit. When Christine started adding her glass, shells and other accents to the fountain, the guy who was building it told her she was ruining it. She just laughed, and always encourages her kids and friends to rearrange them however they want.