Art in the Garden

Gardening Gone Wild has invited us all to post about art as an inspiration for the garden as part of their Garden Blogger's Design Workshop series.

That made me think about the art I have in my garden, the connections from the art to the wonderful people who gave it to me or who made it, and the beautiful juxtaposition of the ever-changing plants and ever-solid art pieces.

The wind chime on the left was a gift from Country Mouse's daughter. Maybe it's not art, but it's so pleasing to the eye, and I can see the bright yellow stained glass sun right from my kitchen window. What better sight on a gloomy day? What better thought then friendship and connection? What better inspiration?

Around the corner, a Chinese porcelain seat on which I've currently placed two frogs that were a gift from my mother in law. I'm very fond of frogs, and looking at them serenading my on their bright yellow brings instant joy. Yes! I'm in the garden now"

For me, a garden becomes a garden not just through the plants. Humans bring their gifts to the garden in the form of beautiful pottery, attractive benches, fountains, and of course, sculpture.

My favorite piece is my Buddha face, a Christmas gift from Mr. Mouse. Nestled between the stones and ferns in the redwood habitat, it reminds me of the great Buddha faces surrounded by tree roots in Cambodia.

Moss is slowly starting to grow on the face, more noticeable in winter, and I'm hoping the face will grow into the garden more and more.

The Buddha from Indonesia, quite a bit smaller, is in the shade, quite well hidden. I enjoy it when I come across a small piece of art as a surprise, and while I know this buddha is here, I still enjoy that it's a little hard to see.

The third Buddha statue we have was from a temple in China that was flooded as part of the three gorges dam project. My meditation teacher had several buddhas and buddha heads for sale at one time, and Mr. Mouse and I liked the Maitreya immediately.

It also seemed to be a very reasonable price considering how old it was supposed to be. Well, we later found it it's actually not that old, but I actually prefer not to have a valuable antique in my garden. Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future, is traditionally shown seated in a chair. That, leaves space in front and to the sides for an attractive display of flowers, and in spring I enjoyed the blossoms of blue-eyed grass and an attractive annual around the base. Now that it's fall, only a small succulent remains, but we can still enjoy the statue itself and its beautifully carved head.

In that way, the different art pieces in my garden remind my of people I love, and inspire me to work on making a home for them that's tranquil yet full of life. And my music are the fountains and the songs of the birds.


Randy Emmitt said…
That Maitreya Buddha is lovely, it is really something. Ever get tired of it you know who to contact.
Country Mouse said…
Lovely indeed - I let Ms Epona (since we are all "pseudonomouse" and my younger offsprung is a horse woman) know you had mentioned her in your post - she'll be happy. I can't do such a post as you have done: The only art (or decor) items I have consciously purchased for the garden are a small Buddha head, a small sitting Buddha, and an antique life ring (for the pool area). Oh and a reclining gnome, in honor of my grandfather's garden gnome that I loved. We also have one frog, a gift from a young relative. And a small wooden bridge from the cage of my favorite pet rat, Hermione, on her burial spot. I like the serenity of the Buddha figures, and the relaxed jollity of the gnome. They remind me not to be always busy. But the main "ornament" in our garden is actually an eyesore: the big ugly steel support for a gigantic tv satellite dish that was here when we purchased our place. The dish is long gone of course - easy to disassemble. But the stand stubbornly remains, embedded in concrete. We keep trying to visualize it as modern art. Or as a support for something yet to be built. Visual beauty is something I appreciate but have difficulty creating. So I'm off to clean some seeds! Now I know why cleaning them is so important - but more of that in a later post.