Whimsy in the Garden

Garden Walk Poster Rejected

Sometimes whimsy just doesn’t cut it. Such was the case with the first poster design for the Orchard Parkway Garden Walk 2010. But loads of whimsy can be found in gardens all across Buffalo/Niagara. Plenty of frogs were peering out beneath the flowers, but not to belabor the little aquatic creature, I will note some other cute items found along the Orchard Parkway Garden Walk.

What’s life without a little fun. Whimsy brings smiles and smiles bring happiness. Whimsy is better than wacky, kooky, quirky, corny or kitschy, at least in my opinion. But the real test of whether it fits in a garden is if it brings pleasure to the observer or evokes a pleasant remark about its place within the garden. Does it help to say something about the gardener? Of course it does. These images came from the Orchard Parkway Garden Walk. Sometimes you had to really be a good observer to find them.

Whimsy as described by my computer dictionary:

whimsy |ˈ(h)wimzē| (also whimsey)
noun ( pl. -sies or -seys)
playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor : the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing.
• a whim.
• a thing that is fanciful or odd : the stone carvings and whimsies.

So with that in mind, I have images that I hope tell you something about the owners of these garden treasures. Some say, “I like to craft”, some say “this place is a happy spot”, some say “sit and have a laugh with me”. Sometimes whimsy is not really so humorous, but just a little playful. But almost all the time, whimsy says don’t fret the small stuff and take it too seriously.

Here are examples of small garden ornaments. This one is just peaking out from beneath the Hosta. The best examples of whimsy are often the ones that are hidden and experienced by accident. Others are large and hard to miss. They become commentaries on the garden saying a fun-loving  person lives here.

Peaking out from beneath the Hostas

Gnomes just Belong

Sometimes the guard dog is not so effective. Well, maybe not with that happy grin of his. I guess the ‘Welcome’ sign negates his scaring off intruders. In this garden, color is king. Bright, bold and happy.

And who can’t smile at this little pig? The juxtaposition of natural and man-made. What a happy combination of elements playing off one another. Looks like another gnome – sneaky little guys.  Colorful flowers real and fun fake.

Crafty homeowners make their garden shine with some of the most beautiful creations, hand painted and built. The work to create these objects deserve to be admired. This owner is quite talented. Beautiful hand crafted items are all around this lovely garden.

Looks like the big house.

Small House, Big House. Which bell do you ring?

Little House

Little Rooms

Some whimsy is large and colorful. Other vignettes of fancy are made up of your not so typical pink flamingos.

Welcome Sign

Playful elements in the landscape are not always so whimsical, but have an elegant approach to fun. This pretty fountain surrounded by flowers has a plumber for an owner, so note the old-fashioned spigot.

Peaceful sound of water.

This owner has a cockatoo who chewed his way to freedom. That only got the poor bird a new cage. Wonder why they call them jail birds? His old cage became home to a stained glass bluebird. No escaping here since it is filled with pretty coleus and fuchsia.

Bikes always have a carefree, playful, even European flare.

Off to France anyone?

Want a different ride? What is prettier than a wagon full of red flowers? Country whimsy in the city at it’s finest.

Dressing up the driveway.

And last but not least, a winter landscape whimsy. In this 90 degree weather, this looks refreshing and can be found on a winter garden stroll. Hey, this is what Buffalo is most known for…SNOW.

Sleeping polar bear missing his seal dinner.



About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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