Garden art and what it says about us

Garden art and what it says about us

Rob and I are getting antsy to try making hypertufa, but the weather and our schedules just haven't cooperated.

Blog PhotoIn order to keep myself pumped up, we've purchased all the supplies (the first place I could find perlite was Menard's in Champaign, although perhaps I was looking in the wrong place at the other stores I tried last weekend) and I've also been thinking about things in our yard now that pass as yard art.

I figured that I'd blog about them, while I'm at it, because it turns out, I really like them.

My favorite is a sculpture Rob made long before I ever met him, when he was taking a bunch of art classes at Parkland. It's a woman bending forward with long hair stretched out in front of her.

True story: friends of his parents displayed in their store in downtown Paxton when I was in high school. I remember seeing it, labeled his name and thinking, “Whoa, he's good.”

Now, it's in our backyard, growing cool mossy stuff and reminding me of when I thought of Rob as that cool, artsy, dreamy guy.




Blog PhotoWhen Rob and I started dating, I was all, “Rob, you should make meee a sculpture.” I was living in an apartment at that time, so this is before I started monopolizing his time for DIY projects in what's now the home we share.

He made me this fleur-de-lis, which I love and display next to one of my favorite sedum plants in the garden. However, he made it from what was formerly the sculpture of a pork chop. I love what it is now, but every once in a while, I wish we had a sculpted pork chop lying around. It would make a cool conversation starter.








Blog PhotoOne of my friends, Alice Vaughan, brought me this cool, metal bird sculpture as a gift after Milou and I spent the week dogsitting her ultra-sweet Doberman, Beau. (I credit Alice with telling me that the Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus adopts more than Dobermans, which ultimately led to us adopting Milou.)

Alice gave it to me before we put up our privacy fence last year, but I moved it when the fence was complete because it just looks so cool against the white background.








Blog PhotoA few springs years ago, I pruned our small rosebush without really knowing what I was doing - and the dang thing exploded. Now, it's huge and we bought an old screen door from PACA to support it. The door is actually leaning on a steel stake, but I love how it looks in our yard.










Blog PhotoAnd finally, I'm not sure if this twisty root qualifies as yard art, but I think it's cool. I think it used to belong to the tree that fell in our backyard before I bought our house. The stump is still there but it's rotting in a cool way. I'm pretty sure I dug this section of root up, and started using it to contain this sedum plant sometime last year.

Our yard art isn't terribly classy (save for the original sculptures made by Rob) but I feel backyard a fun, funky vibe. I'm only hoping to add to that when we start making hypertufa creations. It's not stuffy but it is fun.

How about you – got any cool yard art (or DIYs) you'd like to share? Email me with descriptions and photos, and I'll share them here.



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omotet wrote on May 03, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I love that metal bird sculpture! The fleur-de-lis is pretty cool, too.

Meg Dickinson wrote on May 03, 2012 at 3:05 pm
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kaw wrote on May 04, 2012 at 9:05 am

This doesn't qualify as classy garden art, but it certainly is unique.  We have a toilet in our back yard.  The bowl makes an excellent planter.  Each year it's something different--a vining plant or even short prairie grass.  Next to it, in the ground, is a bathroom sink.  That holds a water plant each summer.  Certainly is a conversation starter, that's for sure.  Our other garden art doesn't fit into the "tacky" category...unless you want to consider the bike wheel rims that hold our climbing rose as tacky.  The rose is enormous!  You'll have to come visit and get a few free starts of perennials. 

Meg Dickinson wrote on May 04, 2012 at 9:05 am
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Love the idea of cheeky bathroom fixtures - send photos? We have a couple of bathroom sinks (don't ask) in our garage. Maybe we could try this

ReallyOldGuy wrote on May 04, 2012 at 1:05 pm
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You'll like working with hypertufa.  There are many recipes and I've found that the peat/sand/cement formula worked just fine for my projects.  Hypertufa does require lots and lots of patience.  After creating your masterpiece, you must not touch it until it cures (inside a bag or under a plastic dropcloth) or you risk it falling apart.  Larger (thicker) projects usually take about a week of curing before handling.  You can also mix in a colorant as you go about mixing.  For really 'small' projects, I prefer plaster of Paris and salt dough recipes...only problem then is with adequate drying and SEALING so they don't disintegrate over time out in the elements.


Meg Dickinson wrote on May 04, 2012 at 1:05 pm
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All good advice - thanks!