Tag Archive for: garden art

One of my favorite unique containers came in a most unexpected form…

My Favorite Unique Containers

My Favorite Unique Containers

Okay, what does an old, rusty pickup truck have to do with plants?

Unique Containers: Day 3 - A Rusty Bed

The bed of the pickup was filled with soil and potato plants.

Now, if that isn’t a unique container, then I don’t know what is.

I saw this bed of potatoes growing at the University of Tennessee garden last year.

I don’t think that the truck runs anymore, but it certainly functions as both garden art and a planter.

Tomorrow, I have two different unique planters to show you and both are planted on two wheels.

Do you have a border in your garden? 

How about a decorative garden that you made yourself?

decorative garden

Last year, I visited a garden that had a beautiful border that the owner made herself using concrete mix, broken dishes and glass beads.

decorative garden

There were also lovely step stones as well.

The creator of this functional garden art was kind enough to show me how she made them.

“DIY Stepping Stones and Border”

Have you ever made a piece of art that you display in your garden?

Have you ever visited a place that took you a long time to get to?

I’m not talking about how long it takes to travel there but the length of time that you had wanted to visit a place before you finally got there.

On The Road to Bisbee

I have lived in Arizona for 28 years and during that time have visited the southwestern, western, northwestern, northern, northeastern, eastern and southern areas of our beautiful state.

However, I am embarrassed to say that I have never visited the southeastern part of Arizona.  I had wanted to visit Bisbee, AZ for years.  So, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Bisbee for our 28th wedding anniversary.

So, we packed our bags and headed out.  Our route took us through Tucson and then toward Tombstone, AZ where we had some fun adventures including viewing the “World’s Largest Rosebush”.

You can read about our Tombstone adventures, here.

After leaving Tombstone, we soon arrived in Bisbee.

old copper mining town

Bisbee is an old copper mining town.

old mining town

It has been often described as an old mining town with a European flair.

Mule Mountains

 Bisbee is situated within the Mule Mountains and built into the hillsides.

Road to Bisbee

100 year old buildings have been converted into art galleries, hotels, restaurants and shops.

copper mine

Bisbee’s existence is due to the now-closed, open-pit copper mine.

As you drive into the historic section of Bisbee, you can view the enormous open pit where they mined for years.

*To get an idea of the scale, look at the buildings to the left of the mine.  

Road to Bisbee

It is obvious, after spending a few minutes in Bisbee, that it is a community with many artists.

Concrete walls throughout the town displayed a variety of murals.

Road to Bisbee

This mural was just outside our 100-year old hotel, Canyon Rose Suites, which I highly recommend.

Road to Bisbee

I liked this garden mural of potted succulents along the Cochise County Cooperative Extension Office, which had gardening tips up in the window.

art galleries

As you walked past some of the art galleries, you could see examples of unique art, like the colorful doorway, across the street.

I walked across the street to see what was used to create this unique doorway…

plastic shopping bags and recycled bottles

It was a collection of colorful, plastic shopping bags and recycled bottles.

*Plastic bags are banned in Bisbee and stores charge you 5 cents for paper bags.  So, it’s easier to bring your own recyclable shopping bag with you.

zombie miner

We didn’t buy anything for our kids, although I was tempted to buy this ‘zombie miner’ shirt for my son.

old buildings

I enjoyed seeing the old buildings – some were a bit quirky like this storefront covered in bottle caps.

recycled materials

We passed by this interesting figure made from recycled materials.  His body is made from an old propane tank, his legs are made from rebar inserted into coils, the arms are made of rebar with plastic forks stuck to the ends and his head is an old bucket with washers for his eyes.

unique pieces of artwork

An empty lot along the main street had some unique pieces of artwork as well with an outdoor living room depicted.

As you can see, it is wise to expect the unexpected when walking through the historical sections of Bisbee.

One evening, we were walking along the main road after dinner, when I noticed something strange on the mountainside…

Road to Bisbee

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting a skull and crossbones.  The hotel across the street, had a special light that shone onto the mountainside across the street.

*The next night the skull and crossbones had been replaced by the ‘bat signal’ from Batman fame.

Road to Bisbee

The residents of Bisbee are very friendly and the city proudly marches to beat of its own drummer.

Road to Bisbee

I saw this bumper sticker that I think described Bisbee pretty well.

The Bisbee Great Stair Climb

Because Bisbee is built up on a mountainside, there are a lot of stairways, which have led to an annual event known as “The Bisbee Great Stair Climb” where participants climb 1,000 stairs, distributed throughout different stairways.

The Bisbee Great Stair Climb

Each stairway is clearly designated throughout the city and the number of stairs in each stairway is indicated for tourists who want to try climbing the stairs for themselves.

The Bisbee Great Stair Climb

Here is another one.

The Bisbee Great Stair Climb

This one leads up to the city park and is 127 steps.

The Bisbee Great Stair Climb

This one was the most colorfully painted.

*My husband dared me to climb one of the longest stairways.  Click here to see which stairway he dared me to try and if I tried to scale the seemingly endless steps.

Screaming Banshee

Of course, a vital part of a vacation is enjoying good food.  We had lunch at the ‘Screaming Banshee’, which served delicious basil pesto breadsticks and great pizza.

We also enjoyed eating at Bisbee’s Table and Santiago’s Mexican restaurants.

Road to Bisbee

Walking through Bisbee is enjoyable, but bring comfortable shoes because you are either walking up or downhill.

Because Bisbee is 5,500 feet up in altitude, we got a good workout walking, which is a good thing because we ate a lot of great food!

Road to Bisbee

As you can see, we had a great time AND I haven’t even shown you the gardens yet!

Come back next time when I show some cute bungalow gardens, roses, cacti, hidden gardens and more 🙂

Have you seen the Chihuly art display at the Desert Botanical Garden?  

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

What did you think?

Do you love seeing his beautiful artwork displayed in the garden?

Or, are you of the opinion that it detracts from the plants and their more subtle beauty?

For those of you not familiar with Dale Chihuly, he is a famous, glass artist whose work is displayed throughout museum and botanical gardens throughout the world.  

Chihuly glass displayed on the ceiling of the lobby at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Chihuly glass displayed on the ceiling of the lobby at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. 

I have many friends who are huge fans of seeing Chihuly’s art displayed throughout the garden.

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

There are others though, who feel that the art overshadows the surrounding plants.

My three youngest kids and granddaughter.  Note the flowering Aloe Vera and the orange Chihuly art in the background

My three youngest kids and granddaughter.  Note the flowering Aloe Vera and the orange Chihuly art in the background. 

Last month, my husband and I took our kids & granddaughter to the Desert Botanical Garden.

Butterfly Pavilion

While they thought that the glass artwork was ‘cool’, the kids were more excited about visiting the Butterfly Pavilion and in my granddaughter’s case – smelling all the flowers.

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

I am a strong proponent for including color in the garden, usually by adding plants with variegated foliage and/or flowering plants.

Of course, a brightly-colored wall or container is also a great way to introduce color to the garden.  

Desert Botanical Garden

My personal opinion is that art in the garden should be complementary and not overshadow the plants.  In most areas, I feel that the Desert Botanical Garden got the right balance, but there were a couple of areas where I felt the art overwhelmed their surroundings.

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

While walking through the garden, I did enjoy seeing unexpected sightings of the glass, artfully displayed alongside some of the plants.

Chihuly exhibit

For many visitors, the Chihuly exhibit is the highlight of their visit to the garden.

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

I must admit that while I did admire the art, the horticulturist in me tends to focus more on the plants.

Chihuly Art in the Desert Garden

But, that didn’t stop me from having my picture taken next to some of the beautiful art 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanic Garden (or any other garden).

**If you want to see the Chihuly Exhibit, you’d better hurry – the last day is May 18th.

A couple of weeks ago, we all traveled up to the quaint town of Prescott, AZ.  One of the best things that I like about going there is that they have some very good antique shops.

To be honest, I hadn’t planned on buying anything.  I was just going to browse – but you probably know how that goes….

Two different items caught my eye and I thought that they would be perfect for my garden.

antique from quaint town of Prescott, AZ

Okay, maybe it isn’t obvious what I am going to do with these two antique pieces.

antique from quaint town of Prescott, AZ

 My plan is to use the old watering can as a planter in my vegetable garden.  I plan to add annual flowers that will spill out the top.

All I need to do is to add some holes for drainage on the bottom and put a drip emitter on top for water. 

antique from quaint town of Prescott, AZ

I really like this wire basket.  According to the the seller, it is a wire basket that held wine bottles.

Well, I don’t drink much wine, so I think I will use it in my vegetable garden later this year.

Don’t you think it would make a great trellis for sugar snap peas?

I will simply place the basket in my vegetable garden and plant the seeds around it.  Once they sprout, they will have a great place to grow upward.  Later, when the plants are finished for the season, I will simply take the basket out.

How about you?

Have you discovered any antiques or items that you can use in your garden?

Please share them with me 🙂

An Old, Antique Watering Can Re-Purposed