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¿Garden art?

Serious art lovers would find no masterpieces deserving of the name in our garden areas (although we hold out hope that at some point, there will be). For the time being, we take satisfaction (if not pride) in our randomish collection of kitschish objects strewn about. And of course I'll share this eclectic mix with you, my virtual visitor.


Let's start with the birds! This crow was a gift from Amy several years ago. Made from black sheet metal, his strong simple form stands out in our back yard island. In summer, the surrounding plants almost engulf him; it is the off-seasons in which Crow takes center stage. His natural base was a bit unsteady, so I mounted him on some plywood, which I then covered with mulch. Now he's steady as a rock!






Crane is a dignified creature. Made in India, she exudes erudition and virtuous patience. She stands forever at the back of our pond. Except when Max or Ben manages to topple her. She hates that - it really messes up her persona.






Wireduck doesn't care nearly as much about her image. She knows she's just a lowly quacker, and that's just fine by her. Buddha appreciates her outlook on life, and joins her for contemplation at pond's edge.






  Her wire brother (not sure of what bird species) likes to hide in the grass nearby - you really have to know he's there to see him.





Demure dove was a present from my little daughter Lily (via mama of course). She sits, seldom noticed, at the back of our pond's filtration area - but always brings a smile to my face when my eyes do wander her way.




Buddha isn't always contemplative - sometimes, he's just plain exuberant. Wouldn't you be, if you had such a marvellous pond to look at?

His student, the monk, manages to display more restraint.

But enough about birds and Buddhas. On to amphibians! To lure our croaking friends to the pond, we employ two ceramic decoys, both with seductive smiles. One is set near Max's garden; he enjoys the frilly new growth of love in a mist around his feet. The other holds court at the pond, revered by his much smaller fleshy shapesakes. Frogs hold a special place in our garden's collection - you can see a larger collection of them on my kikkers page.







In the furry creature department, this mouse has been stationed near our pond's little waterfall for many years (we picked him up at Disneyworld a day after getting engaged there). So his umbrella has come in handy quite a bit. We wonder what's so interesting on that page he's been reading all that time...






Not quite as cuddly but still dang cute, Master Hedgehog is a reminder of my European heritage. Since last year we didn't yet have a porcupine to celebrate Amy's American moorings, Mr. Prickles at left was acquired more recently. The two of them complete the zoo overlooking our pond.





  Quite the elegant snail, don't you think? We're fortunate that slugs and snails aren't significant foes in our garden, so I welcome this oversized earthen mollusk. His outer features, unfortunately, proved less than fully resistant to winter weather, so I'm glad I captured him in his pre-freeze glory.






  Is it a cat? Is it a dog? Whatever it is, it's not a rock, even though it found a place among the similarly shaped and colored stones of our waterfall. Later that season, the little green carpet plant would envelop the face.






  This statuette, a present from my equally lovely wife, undoubtedly had a name. But I've forgotten it by now, so that I refer to her as Ms. Busty. She's positioned in a mostly shady part of our side garden, and is hidden by surrounding plantings later in the season. But here, in early May, she's in her full glory.







Sheriff of Nodding Ham among the hostas



Another shady-garden denizen fighting the foliage for exposure, our resident blue pig originally performed in a Sherwood-Forest-themed cub scout day camp led by my wife. He was of course The Sheriff of Nodding Ham. Nowadays he leads a lowlier life, trying to avoid a bacon fate.










Moving ever so slightly away from the whimsical toward the stately... This trellis in our side garden hosts our Dutchman's pipe vine. We made it from copper pipe and fittings, silver-soldered together. (See how on this page) It wouldn't hold pressure (not even the wimpy city water pressure we get served up here), but it holds together okay. After years in our garden, it's finally starting to attain that green old-copper patina we were aiming for. Along with a certain wobbly lopsidedness that came along for the ride.




One of our concrete bird baths was in sad shape earlier this year - the design on the top reservoir had crumbled off, leaving an ugly mess. The pedestal part, on the other hand, was still in presentable condition. So we just relocated it to an out-of-the-way location in our shrub border. Walking from the patio to the side garden, you catch a glimpse of it through the lush foliage every now and then. Very occasionally, we achieve an understated look...

Fast-forward to Texas – a new garden, time for some new art. There's no better occasion for that than Father's Day, and sure enough, this year my cup runneth over. My favorite piece among the various sheet-metal contraptions is this bike-on-a-stick, which has taken up residence near our waterfall pond. It happily combines my two primary pastimes, gardening and cycling, and in such an elegant way too, don't you think?




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