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Monday, July 21, 2008

A Touch of Whimsy in the Garden

This month's Garden Design workshop at Gardening Gone Wild is all about Whimsy in the Garden. Unfortunately my garden is not the most whimsical that you will find, in fact far from it. My sense of whimsical garden implements dodges the garden gnomes and household items that other gardeners are prone to plant amongst the hostas and heucheras. Truthfully there are very few whimsical ideas lurking underneath our foliage but I can tell you that my whimsical senses would venture toward the more mystical gazing balls and dragon statuaries. In my mind I have the perfect place to for a dragon statue near the 'Dragon's Blood' sedum, although I'm not sure what my wife would think of that! Some whimsical elements will eventually wind up in our garden but for now the whimsy you are about to see in this post is in my mother-in-law's garden.

From the vegetable garden to the flower beds each has a little element of whimsy for the casual observer to see. Inlaid in the natural stone wall surrounding the vegetable garden is a stone that reads "Grandma's Garden Grandpa's Weeds."

Here are grandpa and grandma themselves sitting next to Tennessee Volunteers birdhouse. Yes here in Tennessee you must have a bit of orange in the garden!

Among the many statuettes in her gardens is this little dachshund. It represents their little dog Molly.

In another spot is this toad house. I'm not sure that anyone lives here but perhaps Mr. Toad is off taking a wild ride, you never know!

Stone birdbaths make great additions to a garden. Aside from the structural element they provide birdbaths attract birds by giving them a place to bathe on a hot summer day. Beneath the birdbath is another statue, this time of three children. Again this one represents something from her life, her three children.

Sometimes planters can look very whimsical as is the case with this turtle.

No need to fear these bunnies taking a nibble on the hostas.

Here are the ducks playing in the mulch.

Squirrels have a place in the garden also, as long as they aren't rooting up the garden looking for acorns.

Hmm...kissing in the garden are we?

Slow and steady. Although slower than most other breeds of turtle the stone turtle can be a welcome addition to the garden. They are fairly docile and don't eat m(any) plants while they quietly make their home beneath the shade of the perennials.

There's a touch of whimsy from my mother-in-law's garden. I'll show the whimsy in my garden later in the week!


  1. I would not like dragon sculptures in the yard. :) Also the turtle planter used to be our cookie jar.

  2. Hi Dave, your in laws garden is a fascinating place, full of whimsy for sure. I bet they are fun folks too. I love Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, thanks for throwing that in. I am a sucker for concrete statues, especially animals, but dragons are the best. I have a very weathered Chinese foo dog in front of the tree peony, for good karma. I keep looking for more of those, I have two more tree peonies that are unprotected!

  3. Lots of whimsy in your in-laws garden. Since Jenny grew up with them I can see her tastes probably would not run toward dragons. Mine neither but it is nice to dream!

  4. I really like In-Laws choices of statues. The Saint my even approve of this one. LOL, he says anything with color is so redneck looking! I think he is so wrong. He prefers the cement. I snuck a gnome into our garden this year and even though he will not admit it, I know he likes it. I have a few pieces I believe to be tastefully placed throughout the gardens…

    My dad has a Vol house also! Wrens, sparrows and Chickadees fight over it every year!

  5. Great post Dave! I love the rock in the wall ~ the perfect whimsical sitting rock.

    My boys would love dragons in the garden:).

  6. Hey Dave,

    Your in laws have to be fun people...they have quite a whimsical collection...I especially like the Grandma and Grandpa's weeds faux stone!

  7. Jenny,

    Surely just one would be ok...


    My grandfather had a couple of Chinese dog statues that I always loved, they are long gone now I suppose. Dragons would add a bit of oriental flavor to the garden.


    I like the animal statues also, but I've always had a bit of an imagination.


    I'm glad you enjoyed them!


    I might have to agree with the Saint. I like the natural stone look but color does have its place! Gotta have that Vol house!


    I thought that that rock put in the wall would make a nice touch. It's almost a placard for their vegetable garden.


    A weed is only a weed in the eye of the beholder!


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