Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Garden Decoration

As the snow melts, my garden statues and decorative items reappear. I'll know that spring is here when my little bunny in the front garden is visible. The bunny was left by the previous owners and has become a friend to our family. He belongs more to this landscape than we do since he has been here longer. I often wonder what stories he can tell me. I wonder why he was left behind while the previous owner told us that her birdbath was coming with her and was not part of the house deal. Why was this little bunny discarded? Is he just a poor cheap bunny with which she never formed a connection?

Three garden statues came with me from my previous home. None of them were expensive, but they have all become part of our family. I have a geisha woman who is supposed to be hooked up to a fountain so she can pour water from a leaf in her hands. We attempted a pond at my last house by sinking a small one in the ground, but we never got as far as running the electricity. I also have two Buddhas, denoting my garden as a meditative space and welcoming visitors. We also have small new statues in my daughter's shade "reading" garden. We bought a little duck, bunny, and other child-friendly characters so she can talk to them or play with them while she is enjoying her very own quiet space. I"m sure she will grow attached to them as I've grown attached to my statues.

The snow has melted just enough so that now I can see the decorative, rusty metal wall hanging that I leaned up against a tree last year. It stands about 4 feet tall and next to my gazebo like a discarded used tire. Last year I decided to add more whimsy like this to my garden and move away from just "traditional" statues. I have tree faces (the latest public craze I think) -- two plastic eyes, a nose, and mouth hung on trees with nails. The four faces have definite personalities and we go check on them once in awhile. One is always sleeping with his eyes closed. And the one that looks like Granddad Bob with his tickly mustache always makes us remark on the fact that he looks like Granddad Bob...None of them ever answer our questions "How are you today?" Anything new happening in the garden that we should know about?"

My garden decorations are rarely planned in any meaningful way. I usually just say something like "Hey, let's go get some garden animals to keep you company!" or I admire something at a garden center and bring it home. I never really thought deeply about decorating beyond plants until last summer when I visited the gardeners for the book I am writing. From whimsy to fine art, garden decoration really set a tone for the gardens and reflected the owners personalities. Garden decoration is much like the decor for a room. The rooms in my home also contain things I've picked up through my life travels. I don't usually design my whole living space. I'll bring home a clock I love and find a place for it. Or, some pictures I fall in love with on vacation will come home with me and the room will be rearranged to fit them in. If I form a connection with it than it warms up my space for me.

At the beginning of this entry I've included some pictures of garden decorations I encountered last year. I'd love to hear about your garden decorations. Please leave comments and share ideas.


Connie said...

Hi Melissa, Enjoyed reading your post and seeing some of your wonderful photographs! Have checked your other blog several times to see if you were back...are you going to keep that one? (The Garden: A World Unto Itself)
My favorite garden decor is any vintage item I can successfully incorporate into the garden!

mike in ft pierce fl said...

Great blog! I like the garden serpent. I found you through blotanical. Keep up the good work.