Posts tagged sculpture

Art at Keppel Croft

I got sooo many ideas from the art installations at Keppel Croft, I hope you do too.

I especially like the stone balls. I remember reading Frances post on making them, perhaps this summer I will finally get to it, now I have even more inspiration. If you missed the first part of my story about Keppel Croft, you can read about it here.

I realized after I published the post on Keppel Croft I forgot to give you the link to their website. Please do go visit, they have lots of interesting stories.


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Gardening in a Cold Climate

The man is a genius!!!!  Yes, I have said it. Brian Bixley is a genius.

When I was is Barbados in February, I happened to read  Kathy Purdys review of Brian Bixleys book ‘Gardening in a Cold Climate’. A series of e-mails followed between Brian and myself regarding the mailing of the book.  When it became apparent that the cost of mailing the book would be quite high, (and Brian attached the open garden schedule), I decided to rent a car and drive to Shelburne and visit his garden in person. And I am glad I did!

Over thirty years ago, Brian and his wife, Maureen purchased a Victorian brick house and proceeded to design an amazing garden. Here is a man who gardens after my own heart, strong, formal lines, (a maze, how I want one), and yet has a multitude of plants. It shows me that it is possible to have it all.

There is a strong center line from the driveway,

towards the barns. All the ‘garden rooms’  flow off this spine.

As I walked up the driveway, I turned right,walking through a shrubbery, underplanted with thousands of Chionodoxa,

I spied a gap in the hedge. Imagine my surprise,when I looked through, up a mown path,

and spied this obelisk on the top of the ridge. It certainly enticed me to follow the path, the views at the top were amazing. Across, a maze,mown in the long grass, I spied another piece of garden sculpture.

This one had to be my favourite. I love how it swings in the wind,

the mirrors picking up a different view every time.

Walking back towards the main gardens, I walked through a Malus allee, back towards the driveway. When I reached it and turned to the right, I was treated to the sight of three paths, this is the ‘Goose Foot’.

 One path leading to a blue bench was lined with Betula and is underplanted with peonies.

Another led to a pine, while a third led me into the ‘Oak Grove’. Here not only was I treated to the sight of an amazing yellow snowdrop,

 Galanthus ‘Lady Elphinstone’,

 but there was another amazing sculpture,a blue Snake.

Retracing my steps, I turned to the east,

and walked through double hedges.

At the end was a small figure peering out of the hedging, but I turned to the left and turned into the ‘Anniversary Garden’, an enclosed garden with raised beds.

 It was warm and fragrant in here, protected from any wind, and the plants obviously appreciated it.

Leaving here, I then walked to the west side of the garden, past the drive,

and along the ‘Maple Bed’. At the end, another figure was hidden in the hedge, and beside it was the ‘Trough’.

This was the old cattle trough that was here when they bought the place, and it has been put to very good use.

Just past the trough, was the ‘Nursery Garden’, where Brian grows many of his trees from seeds, patience is his middle name.

 Looking out the other end, you can see the blue Snake in the Oak Grove.

closer to the house, there is another of his amazing pieces of garden sculpture.

It is worthwhile investing in this kind of art, it has a huge impact in the garden.

An amazing, amazing garden, that led you around, had strong bones, but had profusion of planting. I would love to see it at other times of the year, and it is open ….., but until I return from living in Barbados, I cannot, sigh.

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Beside Myself

It is amazing how you taste changes as you get older.  Not for the worse, not for the better, but just changes.  When I was younger I was very traditional. If it was a painting, I wanted a lovely botanical, or a gentle landscape. In sculpture, a classical statue or a wonderful urn.

But thing change.  Now I am starting to be attracted to more modern art. I am not sure why, is it exposure?  I still like traditional, but whereas I wouldn’t even look at modern before, now I find myself seeking it out.

Take the new exhibit at the Toronto Sculpture Garden for example.

Cast in aluminum and perched on chunky wooden benches, these “faces” by Ted Bieler are amazing.

Shown in a very traditional setting, this area is part of “Old Town”, the first buildings in Toronto.

This little parkette has brick walls, a water feature and lovely traditional plantings.

And I think that these sculptures add to the design.

I can see them in public and private gardens.

This one is my favourite. I think it would look lovely at the end of my Lime Walk, on a plinth, where I can look at it everyday.

The Toronto Sculpture Gardens is located at 115 King St E, the cross street is Jarvis.

Please visit it, the display is only there until September 15th.

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Toronto Sculpture Garden

I walk past this small park on my way to work every day. It is on the south side of King Street East, number 115 to be exact. Since 1981, there has been a continuous display of contemporary sculpture.

This is the latest.  “Bear Hunt” by Dean Drever.

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According to the artist’s statement these “acid-orange beasts move in unison through a wall”.

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Their “movement signifies change, migration, transition”.

Bear Hunt will be on display until April 1, 2010. Please stop and see it if you are in the neighbourhood.

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When I was in Kingston, I stayed at my friend Colleens house.  She has a lovely garden and just built an amazing screened porch. She incorporated  some architectural salvage from a great place called Balleycanoe into the porch. The doors and the spindles? above the doors were from there.  When you use salvage like this it really makes a new construction seamless with a older  home.

kingston2009 114                         ( Don’t worry, the magnolia is coming back)

 But the part I like best is this:

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Colleen has had Delilah as long as I have known her (over 10 years) and she has lived in the garden the whole time, through summer and winter! There was one time when she was kidnapped, but that is a whole different story!

I should really (and meant too) have taken more pictures of Colleens lovely garden, but the drinking started!!!

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