Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Collected Cast of Garden Characters

My current landscape garden is approaching ten years and, being the collector I am, I have been curating characters for my garden all along, even prior to our renovation in 2004.  Our yard is large enough that I can enjoy several pieces of hardscape throughout, without it feeling too crowded.  I've collected several characters for my garden over the years.  I primarily adopt my characters from estate sales, auctions and antique malls, but a couple have come new, from retail stores.  Most are heavy concrete.  Allow me to introduce you to my cast of collected characters.....
Namaste!  This is my buddha, a nod to my mother, who collected buddhas in the 1970s.  He stands under my Japanese Maple, and appears as though he's holding up the branch above him.

Next is my reclining cherub, who resides under my weeping cedar atlas.  I most definitely have a thing for putti, as you will soon conclude.
Next up is my 3-foot tall, 250 pound bookworm putti, the only character I felt needed a name; hence, meet Augustine.
I have had lots of photo fun with Augustine, snapping shots of him from various angles, and at different times of the year.  The photo above would have been late July - mid-August, when the black-eyed Susans are at their peek.
This one, titled, "Do these flowers make my butt look big?" was taken in late April a couple of years ago.
And in the winter photo above, Augustine is a cone-head, donning his winter scarf.
This sweet little angel is a thumb-sucking, seated cherub.  Here, she is perched on a capstone of the brick garden wall, soaking up the Autumn sun.  She's really quite little....in the wintertime, I take her down from the high wall and perch her upon one of my birdbath blocks in the garden mulch.
Brrrr.....baby, it's cold outside!

My husband and I are ballroom dancers, so these guys pay homage to our dance.  They're perched on the edge of my lavender bed.
I had a sweet, miniature chocolate poodle for 11 years (she died way too young), and this little character is a tribute to her.  She sits close just outside the sunroom door, next to the putti planter.
And if you're going to have rabbits in the garden, this is the best kind - cast iron!  He sits on my front entry stoop.
And just to the right of my front door, in the mulch bed, is my cherub, announcing any visitors or, in this case, the season of Spring.
I also collect random vintage garden items, such as metal frogs, spigots, sprinklers and nozzles, plant tenders, garden hand tools, watering cans.  The chunk of what looks like sea glass you see in the photo above came from our the Libbey-Owens-Ford glass plant that operated in our town from 1917 through 1963, where many a fruit jar, beer and Coke bottle was made.  A lot of the old-timers who worked there had them in their garden, and they can still be found at estate sales.  This one came from a neighbor's yard, whose estate sale I hosted.  He gifted the glass chunk to me.

This past winter, I acquired four new [old] putti, representing the seasons:  Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  It was my consolation for having to cut down the last two of my three white birch trees in my landscape.  I had up-lighting on each of the trees, and my plan is to locate these guys in those locations, maybe on blocks like my birdbath perches, or something taller.  I haven't quite figured it out yet because it won't be easy to find four vintage perches, short or tall, all simultaneously (like I did these guys!), but that's how it is when you curate a collection - you just wait.  Meanwhile, they sit in my courtyard, like characters waiting in the wings, ready to take center stage.
ABOVE:  Winter (with cloak) and Spring (with garland of roses, draped).
BELOW:  Summer (holding a bunch of grapes) and Fall (holding sheaths of wheat).
Gardening certainly does grow the spirit, at least it does mine.  And my characters keep me smiling while I'm in the garden.  I'm happy they're there.