Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Parking Strip Garden Art October 22, 2008

In my walks around Seattle, I haven’t seen too much in the way of garden art out on the street. It’s understandable, since the risk of theft or damage is greater out there. Nobody wants to lose their favorite gnome or cast iron bird figurine! But every once in a while, gardeners decide to go for it and put something a little offbeat into their street plots.

One good rule of thumb seems to be not to spend too much on anything or have something too sentimentally valuable.

I liked this pairing of two pieces of thrift-store pottery, half buried in the soil.

Buried treasures

A Calder-esque spinning rainbow flower orbits while dangling from a low tree branch:

Calder-esque tree rainbow spinner

A trio of sculptures reminded me of the insanely marching brooms in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment of “Fantasia:”

More wacky sculpture

From the same garden as the previous sculptures, an old engine part on a pedestal, balanced together with an ovoid stone:

Wacky sculpture

Another trio, this time a stack of turtles, on an old overturned stock pot (hm, I’m thinking a trip to the thrift store might be in the near future for me, to look for cheap finds for the garden).

Turtlepile sculpture

Same garden, another traditional garden ornament but made more whimsical with the addition of broken shards of painted pottery, to make it look more like a sun.

Pottery "sun"

No art? No problem. Nicely placed shells or stones can suffice. Here in Seattle, we have a lot of saltwater beaches that are great for shell collecting as long as you don’t expect to find anything too fancy.

Shell accent

What are your favorite ways to add art to the garden? Are you up for putting any of it out on the street? Or do you consider ornaments just a waste of space where more plants could go?


3 Responses to “Parking Strip Garden Art”

  1. Racquel Says:

    I like ornaments as long as it isn’t overkill. I have birdbaths, a gazing ball, a couple of fountains, my arch and my welcome plaque (that Tina made me). I also like to hang lanterns from hooks on the posts of my fence. Oh and my pass-a-long turtles from my husband’s grandmother. 🙂

  2. jellyfishbay Says:

    I love garden art. Unfortunately, my space is so small that too much art can easily overwhelm the plants. My favorite is a buddha head half-hidden among the ferns and near an old rough-hewn stone bench.

  3. Georgia Says:

    I like art in the garden. Thanks for the great photos. I see lots of examples in Berkeley.

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