Archive for the ‘Yart Art’ Category

My friend Cee, who I’ve known for about a dozen years, has some interesting yard art.


She and her husband built this super cool bottle garden.
Mulched inside the bottles, river rocks and landscape edging outside.

Cee’s husband also acquired a hand plow, and not having a compulsion to play in the dirt like some of us, turned it into a focal point in one of their garden beds. I’d like to give that plow a wild ride through some dirt to compare it to my plow. Alas, Mr. and Mrs. Cee don’t do dirt; they cover it with grass and flowers.


Hand plow as yard art – notice the two copper pipes holding it up

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Mr. Golfcart's decorative windmills

Mr. Golfcart’s decorative windmills

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While visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Golf Cart in their backyard garden in May, I admired their wind chime. I mentioned I had always wanted one of the larger ones but, at $89, they were out of my price range. I explained that I was a dollar store kinda gal. Mr. Golf Cart said, “Bring me an old frying pan and I’ll make you one.”

Poor guy was probably joking and thinking I had no access to an old fry pan. Unfortunately for him, we were in the process of clearing out Poppie’s house. In her later years, Momma was something of a pack rat and I had no trouble finding 3 old, Teflon frying pans that should have gone out with the trash many years ago.

I gave these to Mr. Golf Cart and told him he could have two of the frying pans if he would make me one wind chime.

In no time at all, Mr. Golf Cart arrived at my front door tooting the horn on his golf cart. He wanted to know where to hang the wind chime. Can you believe such generosity? I would have had trouble trying to install something like that. I used to have more courage with saws and hammers back in my youth. Now I’m a gutless wonder.

Those of you who are fans of recycling and upcycling will be pleased that Mr. Golf Cart made my wind chime from recycled parts:

Momma's old frying pan with the handle removed

Momma’s old frying pan with the handle removed

The tubes of the wind chime were left over from a screened canopy Mr. Golf Cart had in his yard.

Frying pan with tubes below

Frying pan with tubes below

The wind catcher (the middle piece that clangs on the tubes) is from the fenders of his tow dolly, a 2-wheel trailer designed to carry the front wheels of your car while the rear wheels remain on the road.

Windchime - windcatcher-6176

The wind catcher

Windchime - windcatcher close up-6181

Close-up of the wind catcher

Only the 1/16th stainless cables, the crimpers for them, and some miscellaneous hardware was new. You can see how the crimpers work on the stainless cables in the first photo.

Delivered and installed

Delivered and installed

I was impressed beyond measure with the stainless cables because most wind chimes are made with fabric cord which rots in just a few seasons. I am now convinced that making one’s own wind chime is the way to go.

I finally got it painted in late November. I used a Rust-oleum Metallic spray paint whose lid color looked bronze. The paint looks antique gold to me. Nevertheless, this is a fine looking piece of Yard Art made for me by a fine neighbor.


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Garden Visitors

When you write a blog, your readers get to know you long before you get to know them in the Comments. Even though it’s probably obvious that I am a few sparklers short of a genuine firecracker, some of my readers summoned the courage to visit me and my gardens in June.

My friend Evie came but she’s been coming out here for years because she won’t allow me to come to her house. I was banned after I talked her into a small landscaping project that had her neighbors pulling up their lawn chairs to witness the unbelievable.

BeckyB signed on as a blog subscriber about a year ago. She visited in early June when the daylilies and hydrangeas were in their prime. We did not happen to commemorate the visit with a photo but you can find Becky B’s photo at Mandarin Garden Club Report.

Meta has been a blog subscriber more than two years. Although she lives south of me by two hours, she came up Saturday with three family members (in case I was scary crazy) who graciously sat in my rocking chairs while Meta and I swapped seeds and plants. She brought me two kinds of daylilies and taught me about daylily proliferations. I was also very excited to get some of her peacock ginger which was unknown to me until she mentioned it a while back.

Meta came early to beat the heat but it was one of those days when the the heat index hit 101. Here’s a photo of us two hours after we had melted on the garden path.

meta and me-2773

Me on the left; Meta on the right.
Photo by Mariea

Meta whipped out her ipad – everyone seems to have one of these gadgets – and shared photos of her garden. I thought her clay pot border was ingenious and asked for permission to publish it on the blog. She used what she had and accumulated more clay pots over the years from garage sales and anywhere she could find them. She likes that the different heights — 3-1/2 inch, 4-1/2 inch, 5 inch, 5-1/2 inch, 6 inch, 7 inch, 8-1/2 inch and every kind of width — make it visually interesting.

I know the clay is more restful to the eye and natural looking in the garden but the artist in me can’t help but wonder what it would look like with a little paint. Wild metallic colors of shiny teal and purple on alternating pots. Whoa-ho-ho, I love purple and shiny.

Clay Pot Border-2

Isn’t this great?
Photo by Meta.

The yellow wheelbarrow in the right-hand corner of the photo is Meta’s rooting bed.

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Around 8:30 a.m., I was dragging my trash cans full of landscape debris out to the street for pickup the next day. Poppie had done it the last few weeks and I felt like it was my turn.

Well, lo and behold, what do I find in our right-of-way but a pair of stray slippers. Adult-sized. I stood there and looked at those slippers in wonderment and just a tad of anxiety. Did I miss cop cars and all kinds of excitement the night before that would explain why someone was blown out of their slippers? It’s a cinch I would never hear something like that going on in the dead of night. I sleep with one of those white noise machines running so that I don’t hear the things that bump and scream in the night. The worst worry of all — did I miss the rapture?

Slippers minus the human

The slippers caused me to look down the street where Virginia lived most of her life but is now renting her place out. The first renters were mostly fine. The current batch, well, I dunno. I’ve seen a woman over there with red hair. Primary red. Red, white and blue red. I’m getting old and stuff like that boggles my mind. What’s next? Lime green hair?

Well. What I saw on the street in front of Red’s house was a pile of trash with a Yard Art chair among the trash that appeared to be standing on its own four feet. I couldn’t help myself. I walked over to look. The chair was in very good condition and even had some paint scraped off. Perfect yard art. I hauled that chair home.

Yard Art chair

Once I got the chair home, I went back for the broken down trellises that I knew Poppie could fix. They weren’t the best  plastic but if I get a year out of them, hey, it didn’t cost me anything.

Yard Art trellises

As I was hauling the trellises home, I had to laugh at myself. Here I was raising an eyebrow at Red’s choice of hair color yet I was trash picking in front of her house. Just who’s crazy?

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On Thursday I attended a Fall Gardening Workshop offered by the Duval County Extension Office and hosted by the Mandarin Garden Club.  Although I knew the general whereabouts of the road the Garden Club was on, I mapquested the address so that I would know whether to turn left or right when I got to the road. Mapquest showed it as being set back in the woods off the main drag so I left Poppie an email where I was going in case I turned up missing. You never know about these things when you lead an “interesting life.”

The workshop featured three speakers on Growing Wildflowers, Dispelling Misperceptions About Trees, and Fall Gardening. In the Wildflower section, we were given a freebie handout – all in color and poster sized – The Wildflowers of Florida. I must confess to wishing I could have gotten a few of those for my Florida and Georgia readers. It’s put out by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services so maybe ya’ll can request one from the Commissioner, Charles H. Bronson. We also got a little packet of ‘Coreopsis lanceolata’. I’m always excited when I get wonderful freebies from these Extension Agent classes because I always seem to forget that they often do this. You know my memory is not worth squat.

After the workshop, the Mandarin Garden Club invited us to tour their gardens and pick out a free plant to take home.  I was beside myself when I found a Rudbeckia Longifolia (S.E. native) which had a totally different leaf structure than the annual rudbeckia seeds I have on hand. One of the Garden Club members told me it would act more like a perennial. Hotdiggity!

These Extension Office classes are always worth attending. I spent three hours in classes, was offered fruit, crackers and cookies for snacks, a garden tour (including a spectacular butterfly garden), a wildflower poster, seeds and a plant for $5.00. Can’t beat it.

For you locals, the Mandarin Garden Club has some upcoming events that might interest you:

  • October 6  — Trash/Treasure sale — 8 am – 2 pm
  • November 10 – Craft Fair — 9 am – 4 pm
  • March 2 — $1.00 Clothing Sale — 9 am – 2 pm
  • April 27 – Plant sale — 8 am – 2 pm

Here are some of the photos I snapped at the Mandarin Garden Club’s lovely gardens:

Birdhouse made out of table leg

Flower bed in front of Mandarin Garden Clubhouse Shed

Under the tree: Dianella tasmanica variegata
a/k/a Variegated Flax Lily

aechmea gamosepala in landscape

aechmea gamosepala close-up

billbergia pyramidalis


Japanese Tongue or Felt Fern

Banana bloom

Candle Bush or senna alata or cassia alata

Pagoda Flower

Red pentas with statue

Pentas in the Butterfly Garden

King’s Mantle

Rudbeckia longi folia (my freebie plant)

Spike Moss

Yard Art made from plates

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Evie always seems surprised that I have other friends. While she is very direct in her assessment of me — “you fool,” other friends are politely vague —  “you live an interesting life.”

Interesting, indeed. With great regularity, I am challenged by events that don’t happen to normal people. Momma claims that before I jumped out of the plane for this earthly existence, I failed to pack common sense in my parachute. I don’t understand how common sense would have helped me that day I dug up a chicken egg in my potato bed but I digress.

For instance, a few months ago, I went out to the brand new gourd bed thinking I’d do a little weeding. That lasted maybe ten minutes because of the humidity. Instead, I walked my yard art ladder up to the garage with the idea of working on it.

I acquired the ladder by simple observation. It was on Mr. Golf Cart’s trash pile where it likely would have gone up in flames because, really, how do you get rid of a ladder you no longer want? It has been a colossal headache for me to get city workers to pick up my yard waste neatly contained in trash cans. I can’t imagine how much pouting and curb-kicking would ensue over an 8 foot wooden ladder. The curb-kicking would be a feat, too, because we don’t have curbs on our country lane.

I solved it for Mr. Golf Cart, the trash men and the City. Everyone. Immediately recognizing the ladder as yard art, I got Mr. Golf Cart’s wife to help me walk it across their five acres where we set it over the fence near my Fern Bed. This occurred in the summer of 2011. For the winter, I laid the ladder on its side on top of the pine straw in my persimmon tree patch.

Termite damage

Over the winter, unbeknownst to me, termites almost annihilated the side laying on the pine straw. This came as a complete surprise to me because I always thought of termites as a disease. Logically, if you didn’t have termites, you didn’t have the disease. Poppie screeched at me, “What did you expect? Termites live in the ground.” I’m sure somebody besides Poppie, maybe even a lot of people, knew this but nobody ever told me. Just add this to the stuff I failed to pack in my Common Sense Parachute.

I did my best to “fix” the termite damage with a hand sander, primer and a coat of yellow paint. Poppie complained that I shouldn’t have painted it at all because yard art is supposed to look old and beat up. “Don’t you watch TV?” he barked. Since when is television the final authority? If I want my ladder painted to help preserve what’s left of it then, by golly, I’ll paint it.

Ladder as it looks today

Ladder and gourd strings

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