Pillar Guy Garden: Garden of Joy
Why garden? Do you enjoy looking at beautiful landscapes? Do you enjoy growing and eating healthy food or food that you can’t buy locally? Do you enjoy exercise and the health benefits while in an outdoor environment? Is it the way you express yourself artistically? Your wife (husband / wife) make you? are you having fun
I am very much in favor of people gardening to suit themselves first. I wish most of them did, but society sometimes imposes restrictions or standards that have a mitigating effect on self-expression and creativity. For example, some homeowners’ associations have written rules about what type of landscaping is and isn’t allowed. Furthermore, societal standards often discourage various approaches such as creating a vegetable garden in the front yard, instead of or in addition to lawns and ornamental plants.
I have learned over time to appreciate the privacy of gardens. It may not be my cup of tea, and some are heavily decorated with yard art such as ceramic chickens, old bed frames, shiny rocks, flamingos, toilets, and modern sculptures. Like it or not, I respect the fact that others love it and that the creator did what he set out to do. It’s a first for them. If others like it – great.
This is not to say that I don’t like old bed tires, chickens, etc. because I’ve seen these used very effectively in gardens that I love. To me, this simply shows that gardening is an art — some contemporary styles, some folk styles, and many more.
Whether you shop for yard art at flea markets, antique stores, fine garden centers, or artist studios, it makes no difference. Like interior décor, exterior décor should reflect your whims.
In addition to patio art, hardscape in the form of pergolas, patios, paths, walls, gazebos, etc. should reflect your desires. The shapes and materials used to create these can be as varied as your imagination and budget allow.
One of the added value of hardscapes is that some of them, for example patios, will reduce the cost of water, fertilizer and maintenance while adding character and interest. Hardscapes can be designed to enhance outdoor living by providing a seating or dining area, and they can add a new dimension to your gardens by creating a shady, sheltered microclimate for plants you may not be able to grow otherwise, or for other design considerations.
When one views a landscape as a painting, it opens up new opportunities for creativity and individuality. Unlike paintings in museums, it is more like performance art. No two shows (seasons or years) are the same.
Furthermore, because gardens are subject to the vagaries of nature, the displays can change weekly and even daily as lighting patterns change throughout the day.
Paint your garden canvas according to your interests and desires to express yourself for your joy. Others will enjoy it, or at least appreciate it, too.
“A garden is not meant to be useful. It is for joy.” Rumer Gooden, China Court, 1961.