Art in the Garden

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Alisdair

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Art in the Garden
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:42:06 PM »
What examples of art - statuary, ceramics, gnomes, artfully reused old pumps or millwheels etc - do people have in mediterranean gardens?
Our own offering is limited to humble found objects, such as this little dog that I found among our olive prunings.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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JTh

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 03:10:54 PM »
Nice dog, Alisdair.
I have no art in my garden, but I found a piece of driftwood on the beach a couple of years ago and I keep it on the terrace, Maybe not so pretty, it looks more like a large monster-fish, but I like it.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Alisdair

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 04:28:40 PM »
It does look like something from the greatest depths of the ocean, Jorun! Nice....
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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the one that got away
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 09:23:40 PM »
Well that's a different sort of dogwood!

How about one that got away...?
Up in the hills, I found this large stone with a basin carved into it. But it was way too heavy to lift, and it was perched on the edge of a cliff and difficult of access on the non-cliff side, so no chance of getting a JCB to it. There it remains, teasing, like excalibur - within reach but beyond my grasp :(
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John J

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 12:21:57 PM »
My wife is into mosaics and 2 of the photos show a large area leading to the front entrance that she worked for months on. The table in the other 2 used to be our front door. When we had it replaced she saw the potential for filling the recessed panels with mosaics and having it mounted on metal legs for use as an outdoor table on a covered patio.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 02:41:39 PM »
Those mosaics are fantastic, John! Interesting to think of archaeologists marvelling over them in a couple of thousand years' time, much as we were doing in Cyprus the year before last.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Hilary

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 03:25:10 PM »
Are you allowed to walk on them?
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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JTh

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 03:29:08 PM »
Great John, tell your wife I am very envious. I was inspired when we were in Cyprus as well; when we visited the archeological site in Kourion two years ago, I saw an mosaic floor inscription in the House of Eustolios welcoming visitors which I really liked, I have copied this text and tried to transfer it to a small piece of marble we have attached to the gate, the  workmanship is not so great, but the greeting is, the translation is approximately this:
Enter to thy
good fortune
And may thy coming
bless this house
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 03:31:28 PM by JTh »
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 03:56:10 PM »
John's wife: clever idea about the door
Jorun: nice
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John J

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2011, 04:04:05 PM »
Yes, Hilary, in fact you have to walk on them in order to get from the drive to the front door. The thing is trying to stop people from parking their cars on them! My main contribution was painting the sealant/varnish on them.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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JTh

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 04:04:22 PM »
Mike, I see why you would like to have that rock in your garden.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 08:24:28 AM »
I love coming across unusual things in a garden and more formal "art" work as long as it is not overdone.
Like Mike I sometimes find things that I covet are logistically impossible to transfer!
In hot Mediterranean areas the sound of running water is always welcome and I bought an old stone trough to fill with water, installed a small submersible pump to recycle the water and then had to find a suitable outlet spout. Not liking the commercial ones purpose made for such things I was pleased to find a potter who had been given permission to reproduce certain old statues and masques from a villa near to Lucca, this when we visited the annual plant fair held on the old city walls. I commissioned one of the masques but minus some rather large ears that made it look rather too sinister in my eyes. I had it set into the wall of our old tobacco drying tower, (more of which in a later posting) and it has worked very successfully I think.
The green bottle to the right of the trough is one of several I have dotted about the garden. The local contadini (country dwellers) who have traditionally always made their own wine, are disposing of these old glass containers and either giving up making their own wine or changing to more modern containers. It is not unusual to find the old ones dumped by the refuse collection bins that are placed strategically along the roads and when I see some when out in the car I screech to a halt to rescue them. Traditionally they are surrounded by a woven protective covering with handles for ease of lifting but often these are missing or rotting away. Not only do they look attractive in the garden but are also part of the culture of our area. They come in a variety of different greens and the older ones have a rough cut top whilst the later ones have a rimmed top.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 09:58:51 AM »
Umbrian,
Nicely done, on both counts.
Those big glass jars are very like the carboys we used to get in the UK. My Granny and Grandad used to get battery acid in them. They used to live in 'The Turrets', Ewell, Surrey (since demolished), which was a peripheral building to the big house, Bourne Hall (the stately home now a replaced by a dull modernish building). They were market gardeners, and Grandad was a contracting nurseryman and gardener. One of their jobs was to manage the generator and rack of big batteries in rectangular glass jars. I used one of the carboys to make a terrarium; very 1970s! Eventually it succumbed to an accident. But by careful cutting, I was able to slice off the top, making a giant funnel - which was useful as a winter shield for alpines (the weight helped secure it against winter winds). If you have a lot of your jars, perhaps you could consider slicing them in interesting ways (Google 'bottle chopping'). Or maybe you couldn't bring yourself to do so!
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Umbrian

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2011, 08:14:11 AM »
Very interesting Mike especially the bits about your childhood memories,if Alisdair does not think it too far from the purpose of this Forum it would be interesting to know how many members came to be passionate gardeners because of the kind of families they were raised in or whether it was completely by chance or from other influences such as teachers etc,
I will certainly look into the possibility of cutting some of the jars but whilst some of the later ones are quite thick, the really old ones are often very thin and easily shattered if not handled and placed carefully. On Fiday night we had terrible winds that managed to blow some over but fortunately none were broken. I too remember the craze for terrariums and bought several as Christmas presents one year (First seasonal comment on the Forum!)
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Art in the Garden
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2011, 08:27:46 AM »
Umbrian,
You make a good point about fragility. Not only are the old ones likely to have thin glass in places (difficult to tell until they break), but they may well have air bubbles as well, which play havoc with glass cutting unless done by a diamond saw).
You could also fill them with coloured items to change the effect. I'd suggest coloured liquids, but they would be prone to decay one way or another. Small coloured gravel or crushed glass could be used. Heavier materials would make the jars more stable against winds (assuming not top heavy).
Always worth paying attention to what they rest on. In the grass/wicker/etc coverings, they are naturally protected, but if they are bare, there is a chance their weight could be borne on just a few points (of underlying stones, eg.), which could cause cracks or breakage.
Nice to have the artistic raw material to ponder the possibilities of and experiment with.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England