Monday, July 23, 2018

Art Walk in the Garden

Hello, everyone! If you're visiting today via Amber's blog post at Follow the Yellow Brick Home, welcome! Today I'm participating with a group of fellow bloggers, taking you through my garden, sharing my touches of vintage decor interspersed throughout my landscape. A quick stroll through my Zone 7a garden is one of the things I love doing early each morning in the growing season, especially summer months. I like adding artful objects among my plants, but try to use restraint so it doesn't appear as clutter (like someone's yard sale). Let's have a walk around and I'll show you what I mean. It's an art walk in the garden!

Mixed floral wreaths are my favorite way to add color on the front porch of the house. For the adjacent landscape, I keep one large yard flag at the far back so it draws the eye from the street. I rotate my collection of flags through the monthly holidays.
Also on the porch is an antique cast iron urn in the corner, filled with either a plant or other seasonal decor. A metal orb and vintage sundial rest at the base of the urn. The urn is decorated with a couple of flags the last week of May and first week of July.
Below is my current view in late July of the East side of the garden, as seen through the garden gate. Knockout roses trained against the brick wall (L) are in their second flush. Dwarf butterfly bushes are now blooming in foreground, mounds of spirea just beyond, and butterfly bush tree forms in back. My limelight hydrangea is blooming behind the bench, and the flag is central to the landscape, with hostas at the base.
Opposite of the view captured above, another sundial sits on an antique concrete pedestal in a now open area where an azalea was previously situated (transplanted this past spring further left). The pedestal is now situated among a wood  and copper tuteur (with clematis in bloom, in the background), and a hand-blown glass orb on a copper pipe with forged leaves. 
At dusk, the orb lights up with all the other landscape lights, and gives the illusion of a low-lying moon in the front garden.
This year I added a hand-thrown pottery totem in the garden, with a single frog prince sitting on a lily pad. The artist who created it also makes other clay ornaments which can be stacked additionally on the metal stake for a true totem, but I used my "less is more" restraint here.
I like how he peers among the Otto Luykens shrubs behind my Summer and Fall seasonal cherubs.
Pictured below are the other seasons - Winter and Spring - in the summer garden. 🙂 My four seasonal cherubs were sourced from a local antique store.
Ultimately, the frog prince ended up on one side of the front annual flower beds, peering behind the boxwoods. I wanted to be able to see him as I come and go through the front door. The same is true for seeing a cast iron bunny which rests on the stoop on the other side of the front beds. Both are hardly visible to passersby, unless they're looking really closely.
My favorite little guy in the garden reads all day, every day. I received him as a gift more than 10 years ago, and I named him Augustine. He's a brut at just 3 feet tall and 250 pounds!
The art doesn't end in the garden. Even though my sunroom is architecturally enclosed, that part of my house is really an extension of the outdoors with an all-glass ceiling and French doors which open to the outdoor courtyard. I have a collection of garden items, and keep several in my sunroom on my baker's rack, some year-round. The antique seed box on the bottom shelf was an auction win/purchase several years ago. Recently harvested lavender dries from hooks on the top shelf.
The water pail on my baker's rack with a string of lights pouring from the spout is a new look this summer.
This little cast iron bird on branch has been perched in a birdbath and also used as a doorstop before, but right now it rests on a shelf with a small nesting pocket and scrabble tiles stating the obvious.
On the sunroom floor beside the baker's rack are a couple found crates, filled with random garden tools I pick up at [mostly] estate sales. At any time these tools may be placed in service. I just like collecting them for their shape, trademarks, handles, cost (cheap!) - all these reasons, as if I needed one.
Back outside, through the French doors of the sunroom, a couple more water pails are kept in the courtyard, mostly for replenishing the birdbath on hot days, and for gentle watering of transplants. The abandoned nests were extracted in early July from the courtyard roses.
The birds were smart when they built their nests against the brick wall, behind the thorny climbers. One was on the far left climbing rose in the photo below, the other on the far right. At the base of these roses (archive photo from May), you can see a few pieces of yard art (L to R): dancing frogs, my rain gauge, my Bunny Van Gogh, a small birdfeeder, and a wind chime hanging on the light fixture.
By July, most of this art at ground level can hardly be seen for the lavender growth.
Another area of knockout roses are planted in the front garden and are blooming for the second time this season.
Just behind these roses are the Lord Baltimore hibiscus plants I did not stake for the first time in this garden's history. They're still blooming, and can be seen from inside the house, but not visible from beyond the roses.
That's okay, though, because the birds still love the privacy the plants provide while bathing in their favorite birdbath of mine, just behind the roses and at the edge of the hibiscus. I caught these two robins from just inside the garden gate, taking turns jumping in.
One of my new favorite flower beds is on the west side of my landscape. Against the wall I have a large specimen plant, a Weeping Cedar Atlas (you can read more about it by clicking on the link). In front, I have (L to R) coneflowers (transplanted last year), zinnias (planted this year from seed), years old salvia and black-eyed Susans, all in repeat plantings, with barely visible sedum (Autumn Joy) as bookends in the flower bed.
A broken zinnia flower stem after a rainstorm inspired me to cut more flowers in the garden, and make the bouquet pictured below. This is one of the very best perks of having a garden, and there's no better art than God's beauty in nature!
An overhead view of the flower bouquet: a rose in bloom with bud on stem, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, the single zinnia, limelight hydrangeas, and butterfly bush stems. A virtual bouquet, from me to you!
I'll leave you with a shot of my guardian angel in the garden. He's a thumbsucking cherub, perched on one of the brick fence posts and looking west, over the landscape. In the background is an age-old, very tall sassafras on our riverbank, with the city hills beyond as its backdrop. A little slice of heaven in the city. I hope you enjoyed this little artwalk through my Zone 7a garden today.
Postscript 7-25-18:
I have added a video walk through of my garden, taken on the evening this post was published (July 23, 2018). I've added commentary, noting some of the plantings and pointing out a few of the hardscape mentioned in this post. I hope you enjoy it.

I'd like to thank Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home for organizing this group of bloggers with a tour of our vintage gardens, whether it be flowers, vignettes or both. I hope you enjoyed your art walk in my Panoply garden. Next on the garden tour is Laura at Decor to Adore. I know you'll want to spend time visiting her, as well as the other bloggers on the tour, and you can easily do that with by clicking on the picture links conveniently located below. Enjoy the tour!

If you're new to my blog, I hope you'll join in the conversation with a comment so I'll know you were here. If you enjoyed this art walk in the garden, you may enjoy my latest post of closeups of the plantings in my summer landscape, here. Feel free to browse my menu bar (on my main web page, just beneath my header), or use the search button on the sidebar, just below the labels, which you can also scroll through to see my main topics. Thanks for your visit!

Lora B. Create and Ponder | Beauty For Ashes

As always, thank you for your visit!
Rita C. at Panoply


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