Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sticks and Stones

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about garden objects and garden art. While I was on vacation, I brought up the topic with my neighbor, Sheila, who has a great garden. She quoted a friend of hers, who said, “There’s a fine line between whimsy and trash. Don’t cross it!” I think that sums up my trepidation about using garden objects in my own garden. Will my whimsy be someone else’s trash?!

So, I have chosen my objects carefully and have used them sparingly. While walking through the gardens last night, I noticed that most of the objects are stones or made of tree branches! Some I’ve purchased, most have been gifts.

This cute little birdhouse was in the yard when I bought the house! It was tucked in behind a long row of mature hostas. I’ve moved it around this year and think it’s finally found a home in the Natives Garden.

When Smith and Hawkins closed their store in St Paul, I got three of these wonderful willow structures. I’ve used them mostly for protecting plants from bunnies than for vines or sheer art and have this one in the Peony Garden for now.

My first stone piece was this statue. It was a wedding gift from my family to honor my grandmother, whose favorite activity as a child was to hide in the garden and read. She’s moved around too, and I think has found a good spot with the Rosa Magnifica by the front walk.

This “peace” stone is a mystery. It showed up in the garden in the spring of 2008. Nobody has confessed to leaving it. That spring, it moved from place to place for weeks! I moved it last summer to the shady boulevard garden, where it has remained.

Blessings came from a friend. It’s placed in the front walk garden so I see it when I leave the house.

I found this heart of stone in Betsy’s rock pile when I was gathering stones for the wall. Audrey brought two more stone hearts back from the North Shore. One is in the hosta on the hill, the other is in the corner garden.

I’m not sure what it says about me that my objects are mostly stone and sticks. They do speak to me at some level and feel right in the garden. And, so far, nobody has said they’re trashy. Whew!

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