Other than a few large, rather attractive rocks that somehow migrated to my perennial beds (either during the last glacial event or when the landscapers didn’t want to hit them with a lawnmower), I don’t have any garden ornaments on display. As I garden in a public space, it’s probably not a good idea for me to pick what type of garden art everyone in the apartment complex should be subjected to – I’m sure I’d get it wrong in at least one person’s view. Like all art, opinions regarding garden ornaments are deeply personal, but as this blog post from Three Dogs in a Garden serves to illustrate, the line between huh? and what on earth?! is a fine one, indeed. I wonder what my landlady would do if I plunked Bigfoot down in the Shasta daisies…?
Your turn: what types of garden art/ornaments do you have in your garden? Feel free to post links to your photos/blog posts in the comments!
This little statue can be found in the Shakespeare Garden at the Silver Springs Botanical Garden here in Calgary. Photo taken in July of last year.
This is what goes on when the snow lets up for two weeks. All of a sudden, the trees are sporting tiny ultragreen leaves, the dandelions are carpeting the lawn, and the neighbour’s forsythia has exploded into a brilliant yellow bloom you need sunglasses to admire.
In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
While waiting on the fresh snow to melt outside, I had a bit of fun photographing the bright flowers in a mixed bouquet given to me by a friend. I spotted a couple of crocus blooming in the garden on 31 March, but they were eaten by jackrabbits within a few hours of my noticing. “Ephemeral,” indeed….
A few years ago, I set out all eager and full of abundant ideas and started oh about five blogs on WordPress, nearly all of which have, over time, become encapsulated within Flowery Prose. I’ve hung onto The Door is Ajar, which, for those of you who haven’t subscribed to it, is an ongoing list of books I’ve been reading and a super brief commentary about them – not usually what I would consider entire reviews, because that requires more time than I have. At any rate, I have finally made the decision to amalgamate the two blogs here. After all, books and writing and reading are a big part of Flowery Prose…and while I’m a bit afraid that some of you may be put off by my eclectic reading tastes, who knows? – this might just go over nicely in the end. I just really feel the need to streamline the whole blogging process and get everything (bad pun alert) on one page. I won’t completely shutter the site of The Door is Ajar, but I won’t make any new entries for the foreseeable future – click here if you want to pop over and see what I was doing.
(The good stuff).
Yes – Rosemary Griebel (2011 Frontenac House Ltd., Calgary)
I’m not sure how many of these poems from Rosemary Griebel are autobiographical but her incredibly powerful portraits of parents, lovers, and friends, the prairie landscape of childhood, and journeys to Europe and other regions of Canada (as well as some interesting and bold reimaginings of history) feel so personal and intimate I don’t want to believe otherwise. I first selected this collection because Griebel is from Calgary, and although many of the poems were attractive to me due to that shared geography, I became far more emotionally engaged than I had anticipated – these are lines and stanzas that will bring tears to your eyes and make your stomach twist over, more than once. Unexpected and absolutely beautiful work.
The monoliths of artist Beverly Pepper’s Hawk Hill Calgary Sentinels are an impressive feature of Ralph Klein Park in Calgary. You can read more about Pepper’s work here. I took this photo on a stormy, sticky-hot and mosquito-heavy August morning last year – as we walked in the park, we saw a small funnel cloud in the distance, far to the east and travelling away from us.
Ralph Klein Park is actually pretty impressive all-around. Named after the province’s colourful former premier (d. 2013), the park is part of the massive Shepard Wetland: the largest constructed stormwater treatment wetland in the entire country. The wetland is 160 hectares in size and can hold up to 6 million cubic metres of stormwater, if necessary. (You can read more about it here). The park also contains a public community orchard and the incredibly beautiful LEED Gold-certified Environmental Education and Ethics Centre, which rises above the water on stilts and has accessible catwalks and decks for visitors to wander. (It’s also home to artwork from Peter von Tiesenhausen and shows off attractive and useful gabion walls, inside and out). All this…and it’s home to a huge variety of bird species!
Over the Family Day long weekend (February 17-20), Calgary held its inaugural Glow Festival downtown. For four evenings, you could walk around a course of a few city blocks and enjoy various light sculptures and art pieces. Some of them, like The Door (artist Paul Magnuson) were interactive: you opened up a door that sat in the middle of the sidewalk, to be greeted with a blast of visual and sound effects that changed each time the door was reopened. Some were cute inflatable bunnies (Nibbles, a series by artist Amanda Parer):
And my very favourite was an amazing lighted sculpture made by Jeremy Tsang, called Chopsticks=Chandelier. This stunning piece was made completely of clear chopsticks and chopstick rests and was lit both within (by a rope light) and from without, by flood lights. According to the Glow brochure, “This work explores the Chinese culture and the migrant workers that build the Canadian Pacific Railway, while celebrating the Centennial Year in the winter season through a visually stunning outdoor chandelier sculpture.” Absolutely beautiful, creative work.