Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whimsy

Welcome to Clay and Limestone...this little piggy welcomes you to our home and invites you to meet a few of his friends.

Like cupid.
Cupid is one of the many little toys that have been secreted around the entrance to our house.

One day I came home to find that

Cookie Monster had moved in. He was glued to the doorbell. A gift from my husband.

Have I ever told you that I believe the number one survival behavior for marriage is a sense of humor? Well it is! So when Cookie moved in and no one could find the doorbell, I had to find a solution. I did...
It cracks up the mail carrier and the UPS guy! It's starting to degrade in the sun and rain! I can add it to the compost! But not cookie, he'll stay...he's glued to the doorbell.

Here's another resident who sometimes surprises guests.

He's very handy at Halloween.


We are sometimes serious and when we are, it's almost always about rocks!

We went to Montreal for my 50th birthday and fell in love with the sculptural Inuksuit that we saw in a gallery.
So my darling husband made an inunnguaq for me! An inunnguaq is a cairn that represents the human form, but people do refer to them all collectively as inuksuk. I like the sound of Inukshuk or Inuksuit and I can pronounce them. The Inuit used these markers for navigation or points of reference....if you're hunting in a vast whiteness, cairns would be very helpful.

His face is very clear to me in this rock. Can you see it?

Maybe it's my imagination but just as people see animals in clouds, I see them in rocks.


Do you see the little chickie?

What about a turtle?
I see a very old turtle. Or maybe a dinosaur?

Then we have a rock that is just lovely.




A very special friend

There is one resident of the garden who has been with me for over 30 years. He moved here from Missouri. He's now a Nashville Cat. He's an unfired plaster cat who is disintegrating with age.
He is curled up and napping under the Gray Owl Juniper.


Then there is this guy who eagerly greets guests while trying to scratch his ear! That's an old glove he's retrieved for me.
He's quite popular with the birds.


Speaking of birds, we've added a small apartment building


with a restaurant nearby.

There's even something for the caterpillars...

parsley, a flower to brighten the green and a broken pot.

Thank you Nan Ondra from Gardening Gone Wild for sponsoring the Garden Blogger's Design Workshop.

You can visit Gardening Gone Wild for more on whimsy.

Gail

55 comments:

  1. Gail,
    I suspected something whimsical was going on after visiting Annie in Austin and then coming here, there's kitchery galore going on in these gardens. Ok, so now I AM going to have to put out a couple of my gargoyles, one of which was made for me by an old student (when I lived down in FL). He's rather ugly guy who was originally supposed to be turned into a fountain, but you know how student projects go (undone).

    I really like your weathered kitty, and it's amazing uncoated plaster would last that long! I love your rocks ... that "special" one truly is just that. Now I know what to get out and shoot this week (if it ever gets any cooler than 98 heat indices) ... a couple of our cool rocks and that Lionhead birdbath base we have, our only garden statuary so far.

    I also really chuckled at the Cookie Monster and that spider ... we actually have some of those just like yours in IA! Funny how they only seem to emerge in October ....

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  2. Thats my kind of garden a whimsy(-:
    Love the piggy and all the little creatures(-: They are all very special. The rock guy is really cute too.
    I also agree about the humor in marriage. Without it you really are missing a lot. My husband and I laugh everyday at something crazy. I am crazy of course so he is probably laughing at me...(-:
    He finds a lot of funny things for me to add to the garden. I love things that make me smile when I see them out there(-: My doorbell is a frog. He bought that for me too. Its not funny but it is cool. Thanks for sharing your great pictures!!!!

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  3. Gail ~ I love your inunnguaq. He looks like he is enjoying a quiet moment in the shade.
    When we were travelling around Lake Superior on the Canadian side we would see lots of inuksuit on rock outcroppings along the highway (I think more for fun now or in the general sense that you are on the right path, rather than as points of reference). But I really enjoyed seeing them none-the-less.
    ~Cindy

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  4. Super whimsy! Gail, I never would've expected you to have pig by your door.

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  5. Good Morning Gail,
    reading the whimsy posts around blogland confirms I must be a very 'realistic' gardener. I can't think of a single piece of anything that would qualify as whimsy. I might need to do something about this...

    I instantly fell in love with your bird hotel and nearby restaurant combination. Is that copper tubing bent and curved around the hotel? I really like it!
    Have a great day.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

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  6. Your rock cairn is the best Gail. I just love rocks too. I keep my eyes peeled when traveling just in case I find a rock that must come home with me.

    I had not heard about the Inuits using these human cairins before. I can definitely see the face in your cairn. I can also see the chickie. Great whimsy all around.

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  7. Good morning Gail. Your post provided the first smiles of the day. Love the welcoming pig. The bird house and restaurant are my favorites.
    Marnie

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  8. My daughter would love the doorbell, Cookie Monster is one of her favorite characters! I can see the shapes in the rocks you mentioned, you just have to use your imagination a little. The pig surprised me as well! It reminds me of pigs at several barbecue places I've seen. Hmm maybe we should have barbecue for dinner tonight!

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  9. Gail, love the piggy with his sunglasses. Cookie Monster cracked me up. I'd have never figured out that was a cat. He looks like a dinosaur cat. I love all the neat rocks you've collected. So many fun and interesting things in your garden!

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  10. Hi Gail, your garden is full of funa and laughter, just like you! The pig made me laugh out loud. I think the turtle head is great, as are all of your treasures. Your husband choose well, in many ways. ;=>

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  11. ivg,

    I look forward to seeing your whimsy and hope the temps cooperate for a photo session....yes let's see the gargoyles!

    I never know what little creatures will be hanging out on the side stoop. It's a an ever changing adventure!

    Most of the colorful rocks have been dug up in our yard. Except for the crystal rock...which probably came from a sister! It is lovely and boy would it have been fun to unearth it! Maybe in Arkansas but not here!

    Do you follow the memes that are proliferating among gardenbloggers? I have enjoyed many of them and even participate in a few. They can be lots of fun. I can recommend a few!

    gail

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  12. cindee,

    My husband did standup comedy for awhile and he is very funny! So we have many laughs. It's wonderful that you and your guy laugh together everyday! It would be sad to not laugh and play together. Your frog doorbell sounds delightful and visitors can find it! Does it croak or chirp!!! That would be what my husband would give me!

    Gail

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  13. cindy,

    We didn't get to see any inuksuit in the open! Just representational ones in galleries or wonderful photographs in museum quality books. The immensity of some are astonishing. Where the ones you saw larger than life? Ours is a fun guy who at one time stood up but then his leg broke and he is resting against a tree1

    Gail

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  14. tina,

    Really, the pig surprises you...you'll have to explain more when we all get together!

    Gail

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  15. meems,

    The whimsy posts are fun aren't they, we all have such different taste! I could send you some really interesting TN objects! but they would look out of place in your garden! Although a few pieces of copper piping would look wonderful with your hot colored flowers. It is piping, it's refrigerator line. I bought a 15' package and wrapped it around the feeder pole..it will brown unless I treat it. I use that piping in a few other spots, it adds an interesting dimension to bird feeders and even trellises. You will be shocked by copper prices these days!

    gail

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  16. Oh, what fun to be in your garden, Gail, starting right at the front door! I so enjoyed seeing every piece and learning the stories behind each one. Those rocks are especially wonderful. I'm so glad you shared them with us this month; many thanks.

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  17. Lisa,

    I can't say enough about rocks. I love them..if I could only bring home some I've seen. Sometimes I think of stopping by highway construction sites and asking them to let me have the HUGE boulders...but getting them in my subaru and out again, is another thing!

    I am glad you can see the faces and like the whimsy!

    gail

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  18. marnie,

    You always make the nicest comments!
    making you smile makes me smile!

    gail

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  19. Dave,

    Cookie is a favorite for lots of children, but mine is Grover! He is a gentle and delightful muppet...clever, too! They have a few that irritate me...Baby Bear in particular! Good thing I don't have babies anymore or grandchildren!

    Back to whimsy! It's fun and there is more I haven't shown!


    Gail

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  20. gardengirl,

    If you reside by the sunny door and you have anything resembling a face...you will have sunglasses! It's so bright there! We have whimsical outsider art in the house, too! Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed it all...someone just came by the house and pounded on the door...couldn't figure out that cookie was the doorbell! He's here to clean the gutters...Yeah!

    gail

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  21. Frances, You've met my dear spouse but I don't think you got to experience his funnier moments! I do enjoy cookie, myself! I wonder if I can find a Grover medallion? You you visit we'll go out to dinner and he will regale you with stories! He will distract you from noticing that I am a rotten hostess! The piggie... He's from St Louis, Gringo Jones is the vender/shop, it's just outside the Missouri Botanical Garden. They sell flying piggies, too, smaller with the best wings! Great gifts for friends.

    Gail

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  22. nan,

    Glad you liked it...and you have seen so much as I am on the tail end of the tours! What's in store for August?

    gail

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  23. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who likes to have Halloween decorations out all year. The Cookie Monster doorbell is a hoot! I love all your rocks, but I most admire those metal critters. They're not only fun, but useful (glove holder, sunglasses holder). :^)

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  24. Love the humor in the Garden! My dad would steal your pig since he has quit a nice collection. The doorbell is priceless and such a hoot! I could not see chickie but did see all the rest of them clearly... I found a Cookie Monster figure in the yard and placed him in between a forked tree trunk. Cookie has now become part of the tree!
    Thanks for the smile today…

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  25. Gail, I love it ALL! The special rock reminds me of the ones near my grandma's house in Missouri - we used to go to Johnson's Shut Ins (a rapids area) and get rocks like that. I'm sure my mom still has some. And I'll have to take a picture of the piggy in my kitchen garden. Thanks for sharing - I really enjoyed it. I'd love to hear more about the copper tubing and the bird house.

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  26. Gail ~ All the inuksuit we saw along the road were not that large. We saw some really nice ones in galleries too. And I bought a tiny one for inside.
    Now if only I had a totem pole.
    ~Cindy

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  27. I love all the whimsy in you garden. I have a few myself. I think it makes the garden more enjoyable & it does make the eye wonder searching for more.

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  28. I can see that birdie,,I can see them all. I love your whimsy. I love post like this one.

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  29. mmd,

    Someplace in the yard, under a witch hazel, is a spider candleabra. There is a very large mosquito that sits on the porch steps.
    We have no end to fun stuff here! Halloween sound nice with all this heat! I'm glad you like the metal guys, I do too!

    Gail

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  30. skeeter,

    Love the monster in the tree! Glad you had a good smile. Are you getting any of the rain that is popping up around the south? I hope so!

    Gail

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  31. Cindy,
    We have a small carved inukshuk, too. I love it!

    Gail

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  32. Kim,

    Will you put the rocks in your garden or will they stay with your mom? I love rocks and many of mine have special connection. We have a small stone wall that is built of rocks I dug when I was building the garden beds. I can remember where quite a few of them came from!

    I bought the tubing at Lowes; it comes in a variety of lengths and widths of tubing. It's very flexible. I just pulled it apart and twisted it around the pole. The bird feeder has welded branches that I slipped the tubing around at the top. I also used it on a crook shaped bird feeder holder to give it a better look. There is a clematis climbing up the pole. Hope you give it a try.

    Gail

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  33. lola,

    Hi.

    It's fun and helps a garden be one's own, and not like everyone else's!

    You are right...whimsy does make you look for more! I put the bird feeder in a distant part of the yard so there would be something bright for the eye to settle on...

    Do you post anywhere?

    Gail

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  34. eve,

    I read that right brained people are especially good at seeing faces in rocks! I like to think that great sculptors saw their art in the marble, too! I'm glad you liked the post...it made me smile too...I think it's the pig, no it's cookie!

    Gail

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  35. Yep Gail got a good storm on Monday dumping over an inch of rain plus today another little 1/10 inch. We need all the rain we can get so keep it coming... High winds from storm twisted one of my Myrtles, sniff... I will be talking about it soon. Veggies dont know what to do, turn yellow or grow like crazy! They are soooo confused...

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  36. I had the best time walking through your garden today. So nice to see your whimsy. It matches that wonderful personality of yours.

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  37. Oh Gail, some how I knew your garden would be full of fun. The extra touches just make them more delightful. I totally agree about laughter in a marriage. We started out laughing and 40+ years later we still are. Sometimes it's hard to do, but if you look hard humor can be found. ( I can always make jokes about his side of the family!) Thanks for a wonderful tour through your whimsical garden.

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  38. Sense of humor....that is right! Love your block headed friends. I can see them all and feel the same way about rocks.

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  39. Gail, I don't have much whimsy in my garden, but I do love all your rocks, especially the Inuksuit!
    I agree about the importance of a sense of humor; my grandkids would love the Cookie Monster doorbell, too. Of course, they would be ringing it every few minutes if we had one:)

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  40. skeeter,

    I love the rain and if I ran the world it would rain at night! Can you believe I would say that...it sounds like a complaint when we are desperate to get rain I am wising it came at night!

    So glad you are getting what I know is desperately needed in your part of the SE. We have had a bit more than you guys. Will we ever come back from last year? Sorry about the tree!

    Gail

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  41. anna,

    Well thank you...It's been fun sharing the crazy fun part of the garden! If we can't be ourselves in our gardens we are in big trouble!

    Have I told you how glad I am that you are blogging again...I know you have been at it awhile, but I'm not sure I said this before.

    Gail

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  42. Beckie,

    I'm glad you liked it! Really without a sense of humor in marriage or in life...we would be deadly serious folk! 4o years! Congratulations...we have only been married 28! We laugh every day and try to go to comedy clubs.

    Gail

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  43. Layanee,

    We both better like rocks or we would be hitting our heads against them in a most unhappy and uncomfortable fashion! Have you read Gone Away Lake? It's a juvenile literature book...the kids find a big boulder they call the Philosopher's Stone and spend countless hours sitting on it while wondering about life. A few big stones would be welcome here...big enough for grownups to sit and be philosophical!

    Gail

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  44. The pig is great, Gail - and fair warning that the inhabitants of the house will have a quirky sense of humor!

    The unfired cat is pretty cool. In its disintegrating state there's a hint of the Cheshire Cat in mid-fade which appeals to me.

    You're not only whimsical - you are wise, Gail. Humor is essential! Trying to crack each other up has worked for Philo & me for over 40 years.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  45. Rose,

    I can share some rocks with you! I swear, they grow here! We haven't any grandbabies or little ones in our family, yet, so just adults play with cookie...I must admit it is odd to push his face!
    My husband has made inukshuks for our friend, too. They have started dressing theirs for the holidays...it's really funny to see a pumpkin outfit on one at halloween. We all get a good laugh and that is so very important in this crazy and perplexing world!

    How many grandchildren do you have? None of our couple friends have any either?!

    Gail

    Gail

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  46. annie,

    You're very kind to say that...and I think if you interviewed couples with many years in a relationship they would say friendship with their partner and a sense of humor is essential! Humor can get you through the tough times!

    The pig is indeed fair warning that you must be light hearted and not take things too seriously in this house. I must post the refrig sometime!

    Annie, when ever you speak of Philo I feel doubly sorry that I missed your garden tour and maybe a chance to meet him, too! Another time!

    Gail

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  47. Great shimsy Gail. Love it all.

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  48. I do hope you post on your refrigerator someday! I love the rocks--they're just beautiful--do you find them locally, or do you bring them from other places?

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  49. Haha, I love the cookie monster door bell. That is classic. And the cute big and cupid... So cute and adorable! And all the rocks of various animals, that is too adorable. Lots of things to make your imagination go wild.

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  50. Jean,

    Hello, how are you? Tina wrote a wonderful post about her trip to Maine and then about her commenters! It was good to hear about her family...I thought Skeeter was your daughter!

    Glad you like the whimsy.

    Gail

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  51. Kim,
    Your comment was accidentally removed when I was trying to remove two answers to Jean! Not a detail person am I. No I don't have to bring the rocks in I dig all them up from the yard. I am sitting on a big bunch of limestone all broken up by tree roots and then below it is a massive shelf of limestone that is part of what makes the Central Basin so cool. My yard is a bit similar to a cedar glade, shallow dry soils in summer and wet in winter...

    Gail

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  52. Cosmos,

    Well I answered your question to Kim and accidentally erased Kim's comment. I am batting 1000 today. I'm not sure I know what that actually means...but my answer to your question is in my response to Kim.

    So sorry!

    Gail

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  53. Hi Gail. I only comment on blogs but not to all. I read a lot of them.
    I have a few rocks I brought back from N.C. They have special meaning to me. I like to work with rock. In fact wish I had more. Some of the rocks we have down here have something in them that shines like diamonds. Put some of them in steps at other house. Wish I had a few here in town.
    Whimsy, I jut purchased a big fat frog & set him under the Purple Leaf Plum--yeh, you guessed, brought back from N.C.

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  54. lola,

    I am appreciative that you take the time to comment on mine! I love rocks, too and try to bring one home from where ever I travel...small ones if I am traveling by plane and bigger ones in the car. Do you have photos of your garden that you post on Flickr or one of those spots?

    gail

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  55. Hi Gailie dear,

    The unnuik looks like the lone ranger, at rest.

    OH THE PLASTER CAT!!!! What a blast from the past...I'm trying to remember the origins of that cat. Was it Eugenie's originally, from Columbia? Can you tell me?

    Hugs, Lynn

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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