Wednesday Vignette – uh…what?

As most gardeners can attest; The act of gardening is good for you – for so many reasons. It provides the kind of nurturing that nurtures your own body and soul in return. The peaceful, life- enforcing activity vaporizes anxiety, and opens one’s eyes and mind to the wonders of life beyond one’s own. The exposure to nature speeds up physiological as well as mental healing, inspires heartfelt appreciation of natural beauty, and releases gobs of feel-good hormones into our bodies. It’s a creative pursuit,  a tremendous opportunity for self expression, often with a highly personal end result. No garden is another one like – and this is one of the exclusive attractions of our personally shaped versions of paradise. They are almost as individual as fingerprints.

The other day, I passed this garden, luxuriously positioned on a corner lot, on sloping terrain. Its random, yet seemingly planned and carefully spaced abundance of pots strewn about the yard, puzzled me to no end – especially contrasted with the impeccably pruned conifers. Someone took their time with this, and thought about it. Even the toppled plant stands look arranged, as do the other objects on display. Trying not to appear too obnoxiously nosy and bewildered (which, of course, I was), I pulled over and took a couple of quick shots of it all. Even now, as I sit here, trying to write about it, I honestly don’t know what to say. Or think. As for captions, I don’t have a whisper of a thought. Ideas, anyone?

Looking south Version 2


The crow, sitting on the edge of a saucer on the left, is real. The duck – not so much.


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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27 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – uh…what?

  1. Oh dear. That looks as if our winds have gone through the plot

  2. Chloris says:

    Well, it’ s difficult to know what to say about this garden. Except it is gloriously eccentric. It’s all so carefully placed, whoever created it had a vision. A weird vision though. Maybe there’ s a message there somewhere. If you gaze at it long enough you will learn something profound. Maybe.

  3. Glenda says:

    I am a type A personality and this scene makes me crazy. I’m so happy they aren’t my neighbors. Yes a lot of thought went into this all of the matching pots, tipping props to angle just right, wow whose brain goes there???? Darn I would love to know the back story. Glad you snapped a photo you brave soul you,I think I might have been to intimidated.

    • annamadeit says:

      Intriguing in all its weirdness, isn’t it? But yes, I too am glad they are not my neighbors. (Although I do have one across the street whose recent erection of a “gate” makes me question his aesthetics. I haven’t found the guts to ask him about it, but it could totally go side by side with this one.)

  4. bergstromskan says:

    Name: “AFTER THE ELECTION” or, if we are lucky “before the election”. Amazing design in any case.

  5. Alison says:

    Well, that is an oddball garden. I shared a picture from Vanessa Gardner Nagel’s garden today. My WV post is here:

  6. Wow. I am in awe. WWTT? I just can’t imagine.

    Oddly my WV is also about intentional choices that baffle…

  7. Anne Jones says:

    This house is directly across the street from my son’s house. The owner lost her husband recently and is learning to navigate life on her own. It started out the year completely bare and bit by bit she’s added to it. I’m a licensed landscape architect in Cali and come to visit every couple of months. I haven’t had a chance to talk to her about it. It’s a different esthetic than I would choose but it looks like she’s got a plan and I’m sure working in her garden is doing her a lot of good.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you for this comment, Anne – it explains a lot. I hope working out there is as therapeutic for her as it is for me. If she ever truly gets bitten by the gardening bug, I want her to know that she’d be hard pressed to find a more supportive community than fellow gardeners. And, Portland is littered with them! I wish her all the best in adjusting to her new normal. Thanks again for your comment!

      • Anne Jones says:


        I’ll be up in Portland next week to help my son move. He and his wife are buying their first home. They’re staying in Portland but unfortunately moving away from Mt. Tabor. So, if you see me playing with my grandkids in the front yard or carrying boxes around please say hi. It’s always nice to meet writers in person. I do enjoy reading your blog.


        Anne Jones, ASLA RLA CA #5999 Viriditas Design Landscape Architecture 323.377.1018


  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    As enigmatic as Stonehenge. Horthenge?

    • annamadeit says:

      Based on Anne’s clarifying comment above, I would say perhaps “Chall-henge”? As in learning to garden, figure out what works where, what does what, and so on. As with so many other things, the journey is more important than the destination. She likely has no idea what a wonderful trip she is about to embark on! 🙂

  9. Evan says:

    Certainly unique. I like Peter’s comment best. I hope working on this unusual creation helps her adjust.

    My WV post is a bit of a rant, which I loosely tied to a few photos.

  10. I wonder if the gardener ever looks at his or her garden from the street….this is a common experience which leaves a lot undone. For me, it’s too much hardware, not enough plants.
    I pass by a garden near me that has about 2 dozen ‘decorations’ in the front yard but I have yet to gather courage to make a photograph. Much to think about…..

  11. annamadeit says:

    Per Anne’s comment above, I learned that the owner of this garden is a recent widow, who just began her gardening journey. We all start out somewhere, and now that I know that about her, I’m thrilled for the discoveries and marvels that lay ahead for her. I’m sure it will be fun for her neighbors to watch her garden develop. Your tip to step away, and look at your work from the other side of the street is a good one. It always helps to see things from a distance. 🙂

  12. It struck me as some kind of protest so Anne Jones’ background comment puts it in some perspective. It feels to me that the gardener is reacting to something but whether that may be the pain of losing a loved one, a reaction to new constraints, or a celebration of freedom from prior constraints isn’t clear. And, of course, I could be completely off base.

    • annamadeit says:

      Funny you should say that, Kris. I had a similar feeling, but I couldn’t quite define it. So no – I don’t think you’re off base at all… The meticulous randomness of the arrangements is so intentional that it isn’t even “random”, if you know what I mean. I do hope she gets hooked on gardening though – it’s such a healing, grounded, and wonderful way of life. (And, I am ridiculously biased, of course, but I really do believe that if everyone was a gardener, our world would be radically different – in a positive way.)

  13. Pingback: Short list of useful tips for a newbie gardener | Flutter & Hum

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