The Smile Factor
Whether you consider your personal garden style to be elegant, romantic, contemporary or traditional there is always room for a little whimsy – a special garden moment to make you smile. It doesn't have to be large or extravagant and in fact some of the best are those that are discovered while strolling through the garden rather than something that screams 'look at me' from your living room!
Here are a few ideas from my own garden as well as several I have visited.
Highlight unique forms
This big leaf maple tree had been a focal point in the garden border: originally a towering, bleached silhouette it is now just a snag after a recent windstorm brought down the last branch with a ker-THUMP! Yet I still find this a fascinating sculptural element – just look at all the contorted growth on the trunk. To encourage other garden visitors to slow down and appreciate this I tucked a weathered birdhouse into the snag; he looks as surprised as our guests upon being discovered!
This large rhododendron died many years ago yet its skeletal form is still beautiful. The previous owner had painted it silver but that makeover has long since faded and tufts of lichen now dress up the coral-like structure. This shrub framework seemed like a lovely spot to hang my charming bird feeder with its succulent roof. A thoughtful friend gave this to me at Christmas and I had been looking for the somewhere to showcase it effectively. We see this every day through our kitchen window where it adds an unexpected splash of color to an otherwise drab spot in the garden. Looks like I need to fill it up again….
Lovingly nicknamed 'Charles' after a certain Royal personage, this creature was crafted in a high school art class by my daughter many years ago. Showing signs of wear and tear, this only adds to the humor; I mean how good would you look after scrambling out of a rotted tree stump?
Spied on a recent garden tour in Pasadena this wonderful dinosaur is doing his best to get your attention! Whether warning against the step or the prickly plant I'm not sure but he did make me stop to take his photograph.
Of course we're all children at heart aren't we? Debra Lee Baldwin may be a few years out of kindergarten but that didn't stop her adding wonderful googly eyes to this cactus creation in her San Diego garden.
Hidden in Plain View
Have you noticed how many bricks have names embossed on them? Love these ideas
Likewise paving stones can be an opportunity to add some personality – or family history
Add Interest to Bare Walls
Whimsical terracotta faces on a stucco wall will soon be surrounded by this clinging vine – a fun discovery as I strolled along this shaded path and such a variety of expressions
Hanging from a cedar branch one would not expect to see shards of cobalt blue glass wrapped in copper wire – yet their casual placement was perfect in its simplicity.
Strange the things that catch your eye – and make you laugh. Great placement either way!
Does your garden make you giggle?
What a nice collection of whimsy in your garden. I love the alarm sign set in the agave! Like you, I think a few sweet or silly touches remind us to laugh and enjoy the garden, instead of obsessing about its perfection — or lack thereof!
Glad you enjoyed the post Diana!