Cedar Key’s ‘Secret’ garden

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By Ada Lang

    There is secret garden at the corner of 6th and E Streets and you are welcome to drop in any time. Tonya Sprong has reestablished her business, “Beauty By The Yard” at her home, after a short stint on 2nd Street.
    She is not a fan of four walls and loves the opportunity and inspiration for creativity that her back yard provides under the sheltering branches of a giant oak tree.
    Sprong is obviously a fan of the “Shabby Chic” style, but she adds her own twist to it. Using a six foot long sink that once fed livestock at her family home, she creates planters, masks, wall hangings from sand, shells, glass and even driftwood.
    As you enter her “shop”, a welcome sign hangs above one of her favorite creations, “Shelldusa”. It is a play on the Greek goddess Medusa, but instead of snakes for her hair, she has shells.
    She has recycled used clam bags to do everything from hang bird baths, to shading plants and as skirting under an outdoor sink.
    Sprong also carries pieces by local artists such as Anne Miller and the late Barbara Devarennes in the fantastical “rooms” she has created in her back yard.
    She has a line of ephemera that is locally obtained and framed by “The Beckham Pickers.”. They sell for about $20 each and each one is unique. One might have a tiny glass bottle and another might have an old rusted garter clasp mixed with a couple other vintage items. It is a visual feast for the eyes and a great gift idea.
    While Tonya Sprong still has her yard and landscaping business, her love remains at her outdoor studio. She plans to eventually offer a romantic spot to have weddings and can also provide decoration services for events.
    Her dog, Baby, will greet you enthusiastically and would appreciate it if you would bring her a fresh pear or other treat when you stop by.