Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Friday, May 14, 2010

On a Whim

Anyone who spends time creating a garden is subject to act on a whim.

Whim: an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy...given to whimsy or fanciful notions; capricious; pixyish.

Acting on a whim that pops into my head is fun! It's what makes the garden special...it reflects the personality of the gardener. When I act on a whim it usually involves...pieces of garden art...pottery...plant combinations or creating a special area in the garden.

I love terracotta pottery...but not when it's new. I like it when it has that aged look about it, and in Florida it doesn't take long for it to get the creeping green crud that makes the pot look like its been around for awhile. Birds...real or concrete...are another favorite. I guess I'm too impatient to wait for the real birds to find my birdbath. Fortunately, for my garden my husband acts on a whim when he visits Starbucks...he grabs a bag of used coffee grounds and brings them home.

Again, you can see that I like birds. A pair of concrete herons were a gift from my mom...can you guess who put the idea in her head? :-). And, the swan...well that was another idea I put into someone's head. The perfect gift for me is anything garden related. It's a creative exercise to choose seasonal plant combinations for a container...such as the cheery spring combo in the lower right photo.

Do you keep buying similar types of items for the garden? For me it's anything with a face on it...for my neighbor Nancy it's anything with a lion on it. My latest obsession is searching for pottery with faces on it. I've seen them in magazines but can't seem to find too many in garden stores. What's yours?

Here are two more fetishes I must admit to...anything flamingo related...and any piece of garden decor made out of metal. And, yes I did have a pair of those plastic flamingos in my yard...every true Floridian does...but they were so faded I had to part with them, and I haven't found replacements yet; so I've had to make due with my flamingo rainbarrel. The fern pedestal is a great item in my front yard. I change out the plantings seasonally. Someday, I really will put a fern in it.

A bench tucked away in a private corner is a real treat. I can sit in this corner...hidden by a palm tree...and look out at the world as it passes by. It looks like this friendly Florida lizard has a fetish for metal objects, too. The bottom photo is a planter overflowing with cool-season annuals.

And, here's a close-up of those herons frolicking in the sun. Doing something in the garden is always fun. I had this idea for a dry river bed along a walkway, and I was very pleased with the outcome. Having a brick walkway is a real splurge. My husband built one in place of a muddy path leading to our back deck. It's not only functional but it's wonderful to have.

More metal objects in the garden...did I mention that I love decorative metal objects? :-) The white mandevilla vine looks great on this metal trellis. There is one more pink flamingo...actually it's inside the house...that my sister gave me for Christmas. It's soooo pretty that I just haven't had the heart to put it outdoors yet. And, then there's the chartreuse adirondak chair...so old and rotten...but I love it!

When my daughter was younger, we created this fairy garden among the gnarly roots of an old Live oak. We called it the Village of Wee...for the wee little people that inhabited it. It was well known that the fairies were present when we could hear the tinkle of the wind chimes. This blissful village is surrounded by a stone wall, a bevy of colorful flowers and a trustworthy gnome who keeps watch for evil spirits. We had lots of fun with it, as did her friends.

As you can tell from above, fairies are magical creatures that inhabit my garden. And, this particular fairy seated on a toadstool was a great find. I just had to have her for my garden. Here she is at Christmas with a wreath of holly berries at her feet. Other Christmas whimsy includes a large bird's nest my mother found in her yard, that I decorated for our front porch.

 

12 comments:

Ami said...

Susan: You have lots of beautiful garden deco. I love the old look of terra cotta pots too! The fairly garden you and your daughter built together looks like a wonderland to me. It is so great that you have a spot in your garden that you and your daughter shares the sweet memory together. I especially love the fairy seated on a toadstool. Very beautiful, and really added the magic to the garden. I am also starting collecting some deco for my garden, but I don't think I can fit much there since I have a small space.

FlowerLady said...

I love your gardens and garden pottery and art. Where did you get those wonderful cranes? Are they weathered copper? Your gardens look like a lovely place to just sit and relax.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

NanaK said...

All your whimsy is perfect in your garden. It all looks so put together, the perfect blend of plants and art. Your containers are just beautiful. I'm still a little jealous of your great find of pots in the trash. :)

Meems said...

Susan,
You have identified well your fetishes and your whims and I say "own them".Collect all the metal and terracotta and flamingoes you like and do it unashamed! Gardeners must stick together and help each other realize it's perfectly okay to acquire these things we 'must have.' :-)

My newest craze is blue-glazed pots. I cannot get enough of them. Bought another one today. I'm not too much for garden art ~~~ just lots of plants and that keeps me busy enough.

I like your herons!

Floridagirl said...

Ooh, Susan, I love your fetishes! So fun and WHIMsical. The fairy statues are especially nice. And what a fun fairy garden! Wish I had thought of such a thing when my daughter was little. Currently, my obsession is everything birds. I love song birds and wading birds. They decorate my house quite nicely, but I need some decor in the garden. Right now, my garden obsession is the living stuff. Can't wait till my garden matures "just so," and I can spend more time and money on the fun stuff.

BTW, I love your garden! The beautiful green lawn that slopes down to a deck leading to a pond (?). Very peaceful looking.

Dani said...

You have such pretty things Susan!

sanddune said...

My wife fills the garden with gnome figures.Makes my Daughter and I laugh because anywhere you go it feels like someone is staring at you. Thing is they are!

Susan said...

Ami...The fairy garden really was a lot of fun. Good luck finding some nice pieces that really speak to you.

Flowerlady...Thanks! My mother bought the cranes at Bealls. I'm not sure what they're made of, but they're pretty heavy and whatever it is it weathers nicely.

Kay...I was pretty lucky to find those pots. I drive by that house every trash day hoping I'll get lucky again.

Meems...I totally agree with you. You've got to listen to your heart when collecting pretty things for your garden or home. It's really what personalizes a garden. Blue pots are great. I have a few myself. My neighbor Nancy is really into blue, too. She has some great pieces.

FloridaGirl...It's not too late to create a fairy garden for yourself. I'm in the process of building a new one that is hidden behind a large oak...it will be MY secret fairy garden. Our property is not your typical flat piece of land. It slopes down to what used to be a phosphate pit 100 years ago, which nature has reclaimed and turned it into a lake. The slope keeps the gators out of our backyard. :-)

Dani...Thanks! I don't spend a lot of money of them since the elements are hard on them. There are plenty of inexpensive things out there to satisfy my whims.

Sanddune...We have one gnome in the fairy garden, and I just recently purchased another. They are fun and do make you feel as though you are being watched. They are curious little fellows!

Orlando Realtor said...

Susan,
I love how your personality shows in your garden. It is the "stuff" above and beyond the plants that makes the garden or the home.

I especially love the garden fairies.

Great garden, great job!

Kimberly said...

Susan, how beautiful! I could spend forever in your garden! I always enjoy seeing it! Your "whims" have turned out beautifully! I get whims, too, and usually seem to carry them out during the hottest part of the day on the hottest day of the year (or so it seems at the time!). I have a fettish for frogs, lizzards, shells and turtles. I have an indoor bird collection.
I must admit, though, that I'd never guessed you to have the old floridian plastic flamingo! I like your rain barrel better! :)

ChrisC said...

Susan-I absolutely adore your garden and your yard art! I've had good luck finding flamingoes at Beall's home outlet.Every Florida garden needs to have a flamingo or two or three....

Susan said...

Orlando Realtor...the "stuff" is like accessories on an outfit. It's the final expression of one's personality, plus it's fun!

Kimberly...Ahh, I see you have many festishes, too. Don't we all. LOL...Hey, a palm tree, hibiscus plant and a set of those tacky pink flamingos and you've got a scene straight out of the 60's in Florida. I think every Florida garden should have one.

ChrisC...Bealls is one of my favorite places to buy garden stuff, as well as Big Lots and Tuesday Morning. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be fun!

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