When Gardens and Glass Talk

Perfect color echoes between the glass and orange daylilies, golden conifer and dark leaf maple tree

Perfect color communication between the glass and orange daylilies, golden conifer and dark leaf maple tree

We have just hosted a really exciting and extremely successful event; Meet the Artist, Become the Artist. The idea was conceived after I realized that although it is easy to buy  garden art it is much trickier to know where to place it in the garden so that both the art and the garden are enhanced. You can read more about the event and artists here, but I  have been asked so many times in the past 24 hours to post pictures on Facebook that I thought I would do better than that and give you a glimpse into the event (and our garden) itself.

There was so much to see that in this post I'm going to focus on the glass pieces created by Seattle artist Jesse Kelly.

Color Echoes

I asked Jesse to exhibit his work in such a way that it related to the garden, especially in terms of color. I think the photograph above perfectly demonstrates this. Notice how the glass trumpets are pointing towards a plant with the same color flower or foliage. The shape even echoes that of the daylilies. The great thing about using glass art with flowers is that even when the blooms are done the color story continues.



The photograph above shows how to create a similar look using taller, vertical glass elements. This time they remind me of tongues of fire erupting from the embers of daylilies. Taller accents like these work especially well in the middle of a border where the copper posts are partially screened. Notice the beautiful stamped detail at the base of each twisted flame; a fleur de lys.

Punctuation points



This garden border is approx. 150' x 50' and the overall color scheme is 'sunset shades' so Jesse had the challenge of creating different vignettes that all worked with these colors yet had a unique look. We wanted to inspire our guests and give them lots of ideas.

The photograph above shows an area of the border that has an extensive planting of low mounding shrubs and perennials; black eyed Susan's (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm') and spirea. Jesse added two exclamation points together with a lower sunburst form, showing how you can mix and match shapes while keeping to a single color. This adds vertical interest without being too 'busy' visually.

IMG_5729For a softer look Jesse worked with the wispy Mexican feather grass and apricot tones of Apricot Sprite and Apricot Sunrise hyssop (Agastache sp.) These glass blades were a simpler form than the previous examples without all the twists and curves. Notice how the subtle ripples within the glass mimics the movement of the finely textured grass. Good design is always in the details.

Echoing form


My front garden has a different color scheme which once again Jesse worked with perfectly. Not only has he captured the color of the Rozanne geranium flowers and red tints in the Shenandoah switch grass (Panicum v. 'Shenandoah'), he has also mimicked the lower mounding habit of the perennial and that of the taller, erect grasses. These pieces are both bird baths – I love their loose form.


There were many more pieces – metallic black bamboo in our woodland, soft purple forms emerging from grey stones at the base of a tree and long lime green trumpets that were perfectly placed to catch the light.

Jesse is more than a glass artist – he is observant, creative and conscious of all the elements that need to come together to make his art and the garden shine.

In my next post I'll show you how sculptor Luke DeLatour used natural materials in unique ways as well as a glimpse into the workshop of my husband Andy as he demonstrated the craftsmanship behind his woodworking using salvaged wood.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon



  1. kathy Juracek on August 5, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Just Awesome!!

  2. Sticks and Stones on August 31, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    […] glass artist Jesse and Luke were displaying their art my husband Andy was busy offering woodturning demonstrations in […]