The Gardener as Artist
Something I have always loved about gardening is the cultivation of a unique garden style. The potential combinations of individual elements are infinite, and none of them is inherently wrong. The fitness of each choice is determined at the intersection of available resources and the gardener’s creative vision, tempered only by those limitations which are pragmatically insuperable.
The task of creating one’s own garden style is a wondrous challenge. Many difficulties can arise from such as size constraints, a small budget, insufficient sunlight or water, inferior soil condition, and the realities of one’s local climate. I choose not to view these things as roadblocks barring me from the garden of my dreams. Rather, I embrace them as catalysts for creation, each inspiring me to seek more innovative solutions which contribute to, rather than detract from, my design.
For example, I do not have a particularly large sum to spend on my garden. I would prefer to spend what I do have on interesting seeds and plants, and on natural products that help me to keep my garden in shape organically. Because of that, I tend to have very limited funds for things such as trellises, planters, and other hardscape elements. I could run out and buy the cheapest things I can find at the discount store, or otherwise blow my budget on somewhat nicer things at the big-box store or nursery, but as neither of these appeals to me, I prefer to get creative. For me, that means finding new ways to use what I already have.
Lucky for me, I love collecting industrial pieces and vintage goods, so I have a decent inventory of fun scraps to pick through. The goals were as follows: to find supports for my blackberry brambles, and to choose a few fun, interesting containers for potted plants.
Many characters interviewed for the job, but we only had a few positions to fill. The finalists included a pair of metal porch railing pieces, the tub of an old washing machine, and a couple of ammunition cans. Other than the ammo cans, which I picked up for a few dollars each at the flea market last year, all of the items were freely given by others who were tossing stuff out or who found old things around their properties.
I got lucky on this one. For only $6 I ended up with adorable supports for my brambles and three new planting containers. I love the way it all turned out! I hope you like the way they look, and I hope I’ve inspired you to go out and put your own personal stamp on your garden’s design.