Monday, February 22, 2016

Marin artistry

Of course, the ultimate garden art is the plant itself: and fortunate are gardeners like those in coastal California who can grow staghorn ferns on their walls. Our hosts the last few days have a garden brimming with beautiful plants, grown to perfection. Robin owns an extensive nursery with five hundred species and thousands of taxa of Geraniaceae: to try and capture all that in a blog is daunting. But I have admired the various pieces of garden art (mostly mounted on the walls of their spacious home) and realized that these tell a tale: I suspect all of our gardens do this as well. The plans and the symbolic tokens we choose to accompany them...

Seeing this you might not be surprised to learn that the Master of the house is an enthusiastic birder who's traveled the ends of the earth to enjoy birds in their wild habitats...

Both occupants of this home come from that "Sunburned country"--so the omnipresent, ubiquitous solar effigies are no accident...

I have always admired the artistry of the local sculptor who does these leering creatures...or in this case, solar effigies!

Not too obvious: a door knocker in the shape of a trowel. Of course, the Mistress of he house belongs to the order of the spade...

I won't swear to it, but I suspect this could be an Echinoderm: another Australian totem!

Australia abounds in lizards! (But so does the Southwest..I know)...

But only one country has the Platypus!

This bell may not be altogether decorative--so deeper meaning is not necessary!

What gardener is oblivious to the phases of the moon?

This looks suspiciously like a Eucalypt!

And the largest flower on earth grows between Australia and the Northern hemisphere...Rafflesia! With a magnolia tepal...

A tree of life from Mexico--perhaps to distract us?

And a jaunty little demon: we all need jaunty little demons in our life. We get them whether we need them or not, of course!  Better they be art than real!

And who doesn't need a basket to gather blessings?

The Parers may love their ancestral home, and keep totems around to remind them of its beauty, but they are proud Californians and Americans par excellence!

Perhaps it's not fair to read subtexts into such wonderful garden art, but I believe that we are all constantly surrounding ourselves with the regalia of our souls. Creative artists like the Parers express themselves in everything they do and touch--life, science, art spiral around them and


  1. I just ordered a number of different Geranium phaeum plants from Robin Parer so it is nice to get a little sense of her personal environment.

  2. Robin's garden is fabulous: but the artwork gives you a sense of the Parer Flair!


Featured Post

A garden near lake Tekapo

The crevice garden of Michael Midgley Just a few years old, this crevice garden was designed and built by Michael Midgley, a delightful ...

Blog Archive