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Sculptor Carl Peverall interprets his piece 'The Mentor' at garden grand opening

Sculptor Carl Peverall interprets his Dovecote Garden Porch sculpture for a grand opening crowd.
Sculptor Carl Peverall interprets his Dovecote Garden Porch sculpture for a grand opening crowd.
Courtesy of Mary Palmer Dargan

Leave it to Mary Palmer Dargan, the Buckhead and Cashiers licensed landscape architect of HGTV and Architectural Digest fame to embark upon a new addition to her already extensive gardening repertoire by bringing in a sculptor as her latest lecturer for Dovecote's Grand Opening ceremony.

Sculptor Carl Peverall was on hand to interpret his addition to the Dargan's Dovecote Porch landscape located in Cashiers, N.C., and he told the large crowd gathered on Friday, June 27 that his inspiration for this piece came when he decided to honor a "very dear and late patron of mine, Andy Fowler."

Fowler, guests were told, had a bucket list that included something he had denied himself for years: a sculpture for his own garden. And when he realized that he was dying, he commissioned Peverall to make one for him, which the North Carolina artist did.

The surprising twist in the story comes about when Peverall comes to the bonsai plant sitting so perfectly in a bowl at the top of the stone structure he has created for the Dargans. According to Peverall, decades ago the North Carolina Arboretum received a large donation of bonsai plants and containers from Mr. and Mrs. George Staples of Butner, NC. But it was his patron Mr. Fowler who took it upon himself to see the donated plants were eventually placed in a Bonsai Exhibition Garden at the arboretum, thanks to his fundraising efforts and more.

Yet despite Andy Fowler's avid support and fundraising efforts for the future of this arboretum project, he had denied himself something he really longed for himself: a garden sculpture. And it was not until towards the end of his life, when he was "getting his affairs in order," according to Carl Peverall, that he gave himself permission to have it made. And isn't that just like a generous person, giving of oneself with great abandon, but denying themselves the smallest pleasure in life?

On Friday, the esteemed North Carolina sculptor shared with Mary Palmer (and her equally talented husband Hugh Dargan), as well as their Dargan Dovecote Porch Grand Opening guests, how his patron was finally able to receive and enjoy his long-desired sculptor, living one month longer than he believed he had when it was first commissioned.

And it was with this memory on his mind that Carl Peverall began creating The Mentor sculpture for Mary Palmer Dargan's latest professional endeavor: Dovecote, as he wanted to honor someone dear to him. And Dovecote seemed to be the perfect place to do it.

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