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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Garden Art

Garden Art

You can spend hundreds of dollars at a plant nursery on art for a courtyard garden, or you can shop free curbside trash piles for the elements of art that say something to and about you.

Buy a giant, plastic hummingbird with propellers for wings, a whirligig you see everywhere, or turn into a planter the toy aircraft carrier you found poking out of a trash can. Talk about turning swords into plowshares!

On a walk, a gardener found a model of the USS Enterprise, America’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, awaiting the garbage truck. The carrier’s island was missing, leaving a well 14 inches long, four inches deep and four inches wide.

The gardener drilled drain holes in the well and filled the void with potting soil and an oregano plant.

If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, knowing when to stop is important. The gardener already had a piece of driftwood that reminded him of his old ship, the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. He decided to stop at a fleet of two carriers.

A gardener who entertains a friend with Alzheimer’s plants rudbeckia
for her because she loves the yellow flowers with dark centers. She
doesn’t remember the small teapot she brought him from China. The gardener centered a large ceramic dish with the teapot and encircled it with floating water lettuce.

A father and his daughter like to buy cheap solar yard lights, take
them apart and use the parts to make lanterns from Mason jars, old ink
bottles and tin cans with holes drilled to make ground level constellations.

Garden solar lights can be brought inside for dinner parties or during electrical outages.

Look for solar lanterns that are flashlights that can be aimed. When the garden goes dark, the lights flash on to illuminate colorful glass balls.

Turn the all-too-common St. Francis statue into a question by placing an eight ball in the statue’s water bowl.

A writer reminds himself of deadlines with a cement frog posed as Rodin’s “The Thinker.” The frog is in the middle of a bird bath. The frog cradles an old fountain pen in one arm.

Collect your children’s or grandchildren’s castoff toys and outgrown baby shoes to use in courtyard mobiles. From a tree limb, hang bits of metal, glass and bamboo sticks by fishing line to bump against each other in the breeze.

Garden art and memorials, homemade, bought or found, should be simple and
subtle. The art shouldn’t upstage the plants but be placed partially concealed by the plants where visitors — and the gardener — may be surprised by them.

* Photo by Lluvia Peveto

4 comments

1 USAclimatereporter { 08.09.12 at 6:30 pm }

i do not have a garden but my aunt does

2 marie constantin { 08.09.12 at 6:25 am }

This could be a scene from Spanish Town!

3 Nikki { 08.08.12 at 3:35 pm }

One thing that I do to personalize my raised vegetable beds is painting inspirational quotes on them. I buy inexpensive craft paint and brushes and scribble out my favorite quotes. It is a work in process so when I have company over, there is always a new addition. (sometimes when I am feeling funky I paint small items like ladybugs, lizards,music notes,etc.).

4 Dianne { 08.08.12 at 12:19 pm }

Some great ideas to make a garden your own. Who said that a garden can’t be fun, inspirational, formal or whatever style you want it to be.

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