Thursday, August 7, 2014

Found Art In the Garden

(Please click on the photos to make them bigger.)
(I just got a notice that a company named Konspect is offering some of my photos (below)  as wallpaper for free.  I guess that's a compliment, although I belong to the old school of people who believe that photographers should be paid for their photos and writers should be paid for their writing.  But I'm no one to talk, since I spend every day photographing and writing for free!  Seeing the notice about this blog post inspired me to re-post it today, two years after it originally ran.)

Monday is Found Art Day, so yesterday I took my camera out to the garden, which has pretty much been doing its own thing this year--perennials crowded together with weeds,  plus a few new annuals, some bean plants, a couple of tomatoes.  For an ignored garden it's looking pretty good.

Many of the flowers  were planted more than forty years ago by previous owners--spectacular irises (all done now) and some lilacs that I know go back a hundred years.    The lilies of the valley and day lilies have spread all over the place and the yellow forsythia--first harbinger of spring-- has jumped from the upper garden in the front yard down to the back garden by the pool, making for a solid wall of yellow.

I decided to channel Georgia O'Keefe and look very closely at the flowers that are currently in bloom.
First here's a passionate pink petunia, next the first of the sunflowers, hosting an industrious bee.  Nasturiums are among my favorites--the tender flowers are edible and even the leaves are so elegant in design.  That last pale pink flower is on some crazy hollyhocks that come up by themselves every year.
The blue hydrangeas are a gorgeous color this year--I have a thing for blue flowers. Next is a sweet pea that returns and spreads, but has no scent.  The  ferns in the shade are so great for adding  importance to any bouquet.  And the black-eyed Susans--let them into your garden and they'll soon take over.  They look so cheerful in a rustic crock or ironstone pitcher,
First is a thistle, then a blossom from the hibiscus bush called "Rose of Sharon".  It always makes me think of the character with that name in "Grapes of Wrath."  Can you see the ant that's come to visit?  Next is a climbing vine that grows up the iron staircase bannister called, I think, black-eyed Susan vine.  Finally is a blu-ish flower that starts as a balloon shape then pops open into a star.
First is a white Cosmos, then a jazzy flower whose name I've forgotten, then a clematis that's quite different from our other clematis vines, and finally a red flower that always blossoms around the 4th of July and reminds me of fireworks. 
Even the giant weed on the left strikes me as art, because it grew out of the cracks in the 300-year-old stone wall and it's now about six feet high.  I'd never pull it out after it was clever enough to find a footing.  You can see that the blackberries--completely wild and unkill-able--are nearly ready to pick.  We pick masses of them every year to make into jam, which we give away as gifts all winter.  The tomatoes, on the other hand, are far from ready.  Every year I hope to grow one that tastes as good as Greek tomatoes, but it never happens.
I have a weakness for Victorian cast iron garden furniture.  This rustic twig-style bench was made around 1860 by the firm of Janes Beebe in New York.
At the near end of the pool is this victorian cast iron set of chairs, love seat and table--with a grapevine design.
My wooden angel of the garden gets more weathered every year.
If you look carefully around the rock garden and fish pond you find quite a few angels, fairies and small magical people and animals, most of them watching the golden fish and  bug-eyed frogs in the pond.  There's even a roaring iron lion in one corner and of course a witch's ball.  I think they also count as found art.
Finally there's this big frog--looking just like the real frogs that croak at us when we're invading what they consider their pond.  When we turn on the waterfall, the water comes from under him and runs down the rocks He's the mascot of our garden.

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