A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

I swear it is garden art

The weather has been odd in Houston: overcast/clear skies, warm/ cold, and rainy/ dry. I really do not know what garden project to take on. I have been walking through various neighborhoods looking at the gardens to see if I could find any inspiration. My plants are starting to grow out, but I am trying to find the right accent feature. I have been moving plants around to see if a new arrangement will produce the effect that I want. For one corner of my garden, I had a real issue. It was close to the play are for the kids.

I like the idea of adding garden art to my beds. Sculptures add a different dimension to the yard. However, most examples that I come across do not appeal to me, so I decided to turn my own hand to the act of creation. In one spot, I created a sculpture from old movie film reels, which I painted to fit into the color scheme of the garden. I collected some large stones, and placed them in a pattern around the yard, and I am finding more ways to enhance the garden with odds and ends. For the play area, I have the problem that bushes take abuse there from the dog as much as from the children. My first step was to take some old HVAC ducts and paint them a light green. I stuck these into the ground around an elephant ear plant. I drove a long conduit pipe painted red into the ground, and hung a mobile from it. I drove in a smaller pipe nearby, and I placed a large umbrella from a hot dog cart on it. I am painting the umbrella when the weather improves. The umbrella spins around which fascinates my daughter. From its sides, I attached an older shade cloth for a porch, so now she has a spinning tent.

I have bought some unusual little pieces for parts of the garden as well, but this whimsical sculpture cum playground is becoming my favorite spot. I am trying to add a spinning element now involving an old bicycle wheel. I also have cement pedestals from a table I had made, but I have taken that down. The important thing that I find is using paint to make everything look new and as if it is one piece. Some items can be simple. I placed an interesting tree limb section on a mound. This was a thick limb with nice features. I am going to stain it. My daughter treats it like a horse.

Look around you, and you may just find that you could create a piece for your garden. Most of what I have used would have been thrown out, until I found another use for it.

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