Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Garden objects, part I

Don’t try this at home. Garden gnomes in their native habitat (Dunster, GB).

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

First, it was the frogs. “I have 8 (eight) frogs in the garden,” she said. “I ask the kids if they can find them all.”

Then there were the boots. “I have 8 (eight) boots hidden in the garden,” she said. "I ask them if they can find them all.”

OK. But why must it be eight? Why must it be frogs? Why must it be boots?

Before I can answer those questions, I first have to know:

When you have a garden that’s filled with scent, color, design, and amazing feats of horticultural prowess, why, in the name of god, why, would you feel it necessary to top it all off with a sculpture of an insipid girl child, holding out her arms as if to assume responsibility for all the beauty created and to gather it all in.

I don’t get it. If at all possible, we should try our best to keep our gardens free of inanimate creatures and extraneous objects. We don’t though.

It’s a fine line.

More on this later.


Catherine said...

We have a garden gnome because my four-year-old son looked at me with wide eyes and said, "But mommy, garden gnomes bring good luck." And heaven knows, we haven't had much good luck around our off we went to find a garden gnome.

And I actually would like to get a nice the birds will stop bathing in the puddles in our driveway. :o)

Kel said...

Well, we have a cast iron rabbit - that we placed in the spot we saw the rabbit easter morning (before development of the field behind our home) We we laughing the other day watching a squirrel sit on top of it's back as if riding it!

And on the patio are a cast iron pig (DD year of the pig) and a rooster (DD year of the rooster)

And I do have a few bird baths placed for the birds - and plan to get a butterfly bowl . . .

And then there is Buddha . . .

I won't even mention the "Beware of Attack Squirrel" sign on the fence least you judge ;)

Xris said...

I don't know why the photo disturbs you. Gnomes should be kept contained within open-air, barbed wire holding pens. For their own safety.

You have to keep an eye on them. I think Doc is making a break for it at the back of the encampment.

Let's see, for inanima, I have:
- A turtle
- A "Green Man" plaque with leaves around and bugs upon his face
- A gargoyle. He's my favorite.

I think that's it. Other non-plant objects are either practical, like a chimenea or stepping stones, atmospheric, like chimes, or abstract-decorative, like a black granite sphere.

My partner keeps threatening to get me a gnome. I warn that if that happens, it will be "disappeared" suddenly and unpredictably.

LostRoses said...

Wait, those gnomes in the corral remind me of something - oh I know, my Christmas village! What the hell was I thinking when I bought a village that spread into the 'burbs, a farm, and even a deep woods complete with hunting lodge, mountains, and a blinking moon?

I'm thinking of chucking the whole thing out into the garden. Can you see a tiny townhouse lurking under the lilacs? Someone stop me!

Adonaise said...

Omigod....this is PERFECT for maddening the neighbors to a frenzy. I should have contacted you before I decided to move.

Gotta Garden said...

Okay, where's your humor?! I agree the picture is a bit much, but it's really pretty's a garden of gnomes!

I don't mind personal expression. And, I DO like fun in the garden! To each his own. I don't have any gnomes and really not much in the way of objects...a few birdbaths, some ceramic mushrooms (they're nice!), and...well, that's about it...although I do have a couple of really neato things to hang, if I ever make up mind where they should go.

But, the point is...(what was the point??!)....oh yeah, vive la difference or something like that!

Like your blog very much!

Kasmira said...

I'm not personally a fan of much garden junk either. I've got a birdbath, but it's green so that it blends in. We also have a cast cement turtle. My excuse is that it came with the place.
Brightly colored statues can be a bit distracting, but probably fun for kids. The insipid girl sculpture you describe makes me want to barf.

EAL said...

The gnomes were amazing--you had to see them in person. I admired them very much, believe me!

They are gnomes as they should be done, and don't look as caged in in person--sorry for the bad picture.

Pam/Digging said...

"If at all possible, we should try our best to keep our gardens free of inanimate creatures and extraneous objects."

Gardeners put "art" in their gardens because it makes them happy. What's wrong with that? Why must everyone's garden adhere to a Martha Stewart Living, or EAL, standard? Not every visitor has to like it, and to each his own. And some displays, like these gnomes, are clearly meant to be funny.

I do look forward to Part 2, Elizabeth. You have a way with controversial posts. ;-)

EAL said...

Well, I'm not quite sure that it's totally fine for everyone to do everything that makes them happy. That could lead into some pretty iffy territory.

But--as to objects--it's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I've seen way too much schlock in way too many gardens. When you notice the doggies, fairies, and stained glass butterflies more than the plants, there's a problem.

Thanks for reading! We can't all always agree--as you note, it would be pretty boring if we did.

Stuart said...

Totally agree Elizabeth. I'm glad I've finally found someone who sees gardening the same way...

Di May said...

I want to thank you for a great blog. I found your blog thought Blogs of Note, and I've been enjoying exploring it very much.

In my garden, we have pretty stone birdbaths, and one gnome lost somewhere in the shrubbery. He's been lost and long-forgotten, poor thing. For the most part I enjoy seeing gardens with plants and maybe some stone, continuing the theme of nature, but too many painted objects certainly can be a bit much.

I currently have a blog undergoing some major transition, but in the future I am planning on gearing my blog toward gardening and my related hobbies. Your blog is inspiring to me as a new blogger, thank you!

Mike & Ann said...

Hi. We recently (well eighteen months ago) downsized to a house with a very small garden, which means that we have to be very careful what goes into it. No gnomes (never liked them) but lots of different sized containers. Medieval property in Eastern England with tiny courtyard garden. Thoroughly enjoying making the garden look right for the house. Love the look of yours. Regards, Mike and Ann.

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Michael Walline said...

I have garden art for sentimental reasons, pure and simple. I have my Dad's bowling balls tucked next to a pot because he was the one that got me into gardening. Since he's in a nursing home now it makes him feel as though he's part of my gardening experience. As for the lighthouses? Hm. Ya got me there. :) Love the blog!