Friday, October 14, 2011

Yard Art from the Huntsville Botanical Gardens-Like it or Not??

I am so behind on postings but am trying diligently to get these all done and in a timely manner. It just seems as though I either don't have the time to prepare my posts or I am doing other things that have a higher priority. I'm not sure which but I do know I enjoy posting so will continue to work at it. This blog is a picture book of things going on in our lives that include not just the garden so I am very serious about keeping up this blog-can anyone give me more time? 

Anyhow, I introduced you all to our master gardener trip to Huntsville on Wednesday and promised three more posts on the trip. This post will focus on yard art. Those who read this blog know I love yard art. A famous gardener once said, "You don't want anything shiny in the garden because it will spoil the garden." Do you all know who said that? I shall tell you later but a hint is that it is a gardener from across the big pond. Perhaps English gardens like boring dull non shiny gardens but over here in the Americas I believe we love our shiny things as evidenced by many of your garden blogs and my recent visit to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Just look at the shiny things I found in the garden. These were not in the Children's Garden area proper so you can't blame it on that. This can whirlygig was too cool by itself.
But when you put it together with a couple dozen more you get WAY cool yard art.
The whirlygigs were just a spinning and twirling in the garden. I plan to spend some time this winter making my own cool things out of soda cans for Tiger Gardens. Though, the thought of cut fingers sometimes scares me. Soda cans are easy to cut but they sometimes cut back just like paper and you can get hurt easily. I'll let you all know how it goes. These cans were mounted to rebar which was mounted to fence posts and I thought the setup was most unique.
These cans were made into something similar to Japanese lanterns. I don't know how they cut them so uniformly but this design was very neat and can fit in anywhere. Just add a tea light to the center of the lanterns and you have a great focal point for a night time garden party.
How do you like this can man? I have been saving coffee cans for years now and am really getting tired of them cluttering up my garage. I think I will make time to put one or two of these together this winter as well.

This can be considered yard art but was more of a Halloween decoration due to the approaching holiday at the end of this month. You know I have bicycle rims in my garden-with shiny glass plates in them-bicycle rims are very versatile for use in the garden. This one here has had thread woven around it to simulate a spider's web. The spider is of course Charlotte from Charlotte's Web. There were may vignettes in the gardens when we visited. I could not possibly photograph or post them all but did capture a few.
Lastly, lest you think shiny things like soda cans are not found in Tiger Gardens here is my very own shiny whirlygig. A sweet old man makes and sells these locally. I purchased two more than two years ago from him for $2.50 per can and do you know they are still sailing in my garden? The problem with them is that if you hang them up where they can spin around they sometimes hit things like tree branches which can break off the legs of the can. It's very frustrating for me but still they fly. This one is a new purchase and is intact-for now. The sound they make is that of metal turning and they spin with the slightest bit of breeze.

Now what famous gardener said any shine in a garden ruins a garden? And do you agree? Come on, it's okay if you do agree I don't mind. That is one thing I always value-opinions and we all have them. Gardens must reflect the gardener and if you don't like shiny things in the garden then that is perfectly okay. But if you do like shiny things and yard art-tacky or not-let your voice be heard....

in the garden....

P.S. I'll give you gardening experts a chance to guess the gardener who said shine ruins a garden and then I'll post the answer a bit later.

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I haven't a clue who said that. I believe the garden is a gardener's canvas and can be planted and decorated to reflect the gardener's personality. The garden art here tells me the gardeners are playful and happy!

  2. I'm not even going to guess who said this, because I'm bound to be wrong, but I think the garden is a place where a person can express herself, so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! I'm not so much into shiny ornaments, but I think the Japanese lanterns are pretty cool. The can man is very clever, too. Good thing you saved some of those coffee cans, Tina--now they're all plastic!

  3. Well, I love the whirlygigs! I'm trying to think if I have any shiny things in my garden, and I don't think I do. I'll have to change that!

  4. I'm totally liking the "can art"! Both the pinwheel and lantern! I can't wait to get the cutting patterns. Do you have 'em (or know where to get them)?

  5. I love shiny, in or out of the garden. The manager of our recycling center saved me (Terri-Lynn asked him if he would) a mess of bottles and I have made a bottle garden out back with solar lights all thru it and I hung the holder that you gave me on the frame that Mr Fix It made me and it looks fantastic! Betty and Jackie came down for the day and they noticed it before they got out of the car. Even Jackie loved it and she is not real big on whimsey!

    No idea at all as to who said that but probably when we get the answer most of will feel pretty stupid.

    The can art is pretty cool. I wish my mind was full of the creative stuff that some people have.

  6. Rebecca, I don't have the patterns and am hoping the pictures will help guide me through when I attempt this on my own.

    Mom, That's great! I bet your bottle garden is perfect. Boy, Jackie and Betty, those are names from the past!

  7. I love garden art. Love those whirly-gigs also.
    I have no clue as to who said that.

  8. Wow, some quick passing storm late yesterday took out our power. Only our street was effected so not a priority for GA Power with trees down all over town. We lost power for 15 hours due to our neighbor not taking down a dying tree... Grrrrrrr....

    There is a saying, “One mans trash, is another mans treasure” So true in my book of whimsy. I find gardeners a type of artist as no two gardens are the same. I love whimsy in a garden. I am often amazed with some of the cleaver items people make by using their imagination. Keeping things out of the landfill and beautifying our gardens with whimsy. A Win Win situation for me….

    The Saint and I gave my dad an airplane and helicopter made from a can. He enjoys his aluminum can toy’s on the screen porch and has had them for years.

    The coffee can looks like a Sock Monkey and I just love the pinwheels as they look like flowers…. Such creative people out there….

  9. Lots of can art in my books.
    Time? What's that?

  10. I love the can whirlygigs and lanterns--though with the bottle deposit here, I prolly wouldn't make them. Also, I wouldn't have QUITE as mnay in one place, but to each his/her own. :)

  11. Love to see anything reused rather than thrown away. I can envision many famous English gardeners making the statement you quote.

  12. No idea who said it but we all have our opinions. I love seeing things reused as well...I have a few shiny things and lots of pottery types of Yard Art. I think a bit of whimsy is good for the garden and is art after all...

  13. Your can man reminded me of a sock monkey. The whirligigs are way cool, and have me thinking I need to go through our recyling bin.

  14. Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think whatever makes one happy, go for it!
    I love that can monkey. so cute!

  15. The English gardener who said shine in a garden ruins a garden is none other than Penelope Hobhouse.

  16. I love those whirly-jigs --what fun!!! Love the big flower ones especially.
    I like shining things in the garden...regardless what she says!