Archive for what is art

Unusual Garden Art

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, How to, landscape design with tags , , , , on October 1, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

DSCN6570Temporary art in a bowl of water at Chanticleer

In June, Michael and I went on the annual Scott Arboretum Associates’ Garden Day.  This tour is one of the many wonderful events planned by the arboretum free of charge for its members.   The tour was followed by a reception at world famous Chanticleer featuring delicious food and drink and providing an opportunity to stroll around the lovely gardens after hours.

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DSCN6561Unfortunately, I didn’t record the name of this arresting sculpture.

One of the homes on the tour featured a collection of very unusual sculptures or installations.  I didn’t count them, but it seemed like there could have been at least 100 and maybe more.  Most of them were not what for want of a better term I will call “pretty art”; in fact, some of them were quite disturbing.   Would you want the boxer above greeting you every time you entered your driveway?  It really got me thinking about the age old question of what is art?


DSCN6551There were many of these installations, if that is the right term, in the woodlands surrounding the house.


DSCN6559untitled, Will Dexter, cast glass and steel


DSCN6557untitled, Bob Harrington, mahogany




DSCN6555“Sleeping Beauty”, Debra Rosenblum


DSCN6549“Arboreal Timbre”, Greg Leavitt, copper and steel.  This life size metal tree was right outside the front door.



DSCN6556“Throne”, Peter Diepenbrock, metal washers


DSCN6554“Emergence”, Debra Rosenblum, bronze and slate


This is not the accumulation of an eccentric included on the tour for some obscure reason, but the well-respected collection of an art connoisseur frequently visited by groups from prominent area art institutions.  I am definitely of the opinion that beauty (or if not beauty, then interest) is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone is entitled to design their garden in the way most pleasing to them.  I found the garden thought provoking, and maybe that’s part of the owner’s intention.   It is still hard for me to think of some of this as art.  What do you think?


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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

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