Faces In The Garden

– Posted in: Garden Design

Nan’s subject for the Garden Design Workshop this month has proven to be a bit of a challenge for me: I think I probably have little or close to nothing in my garden that would conventionally be labeled whimsical.

But I am drawn to faces in the garden and have randomly picked up a few over the years which have ended up in the garden. Whimsical? Perhaps not. But they definitely add an essence to my garden. What it is I’m not sure. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

This glass face that I found several years ago landed in one of my garden beds. Although it is visible at this time of year, by the end of the summer part of it will be covered over with plants so that a visitor will have to give more than a quick glance to notice its presence.

The African mask below is another example of faces. I love its wooden, primitive style, with the two faces gazing at me as I walk onto my terrace each morning. Its presence reminds me that if I’m awake and present, I will be able to see the magic and beauty that envelops me throughout each day.

And then there is this African wooden statue of a mother with a child at her breast. A garden is such a nurturing living presence, much like a mother. This mini-statue is a reminder of that for me, and for anyone else who comes to my garden for a visit.

So, maybe whimsy wouldn’t be the word I would use to describe these pieces in my garden. Perhaps spiritual would be a better choice of words. On the other hand, is it possible that a piece can be both spiritual and whimsical? What do you think?

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
9 comments… add one

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Fern July 3, 2008, 1:36 pm

On the other hand, is it possible that a piece can be both spiritual and whimsical? What do you think?

Definitely! Spirituality should include joy as well as more serious emotions.

Nancy Bond July 3, 2008, 3:33 pm

All of your faces add a nice touch of whimsy to your garden. 🙂

Thanks Nancy. Appreciate that you think so. Fran

Lisa at Greenbow July 3, 2008, 6:06 pm

I would think that your faces could induce some light hearted thoughts as well as the deeply spiritual.

It’s good to hear your viewpoint. I agree but one never knows how others perceive things. Fran

Frances July 3, 2008, 7:57 pm

Love you faces, Fran. I have faces in the garden also, lots of them, especially green men, my favorite kind of garden face. But is that whimsy? I am still trying to wrap my brain cells around that term. Does it mean funny? Then maybe the faces aren’t funny, but if it means, ‘on a whim’ like one definition suggested, then okay. But Nan probably meant for the interpretation to be broad enough to include lots of different takes on this, wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for the compliment. I love the fact that you have green male faces in your garden. And yes, that is whimsy. And yes, I know from speaking directly to Nan that her interpretation is whatever the reader wants it to be.

FYI, this is how whimsy is defined in Webster’s Dictionary:” a fanciful or fantastic device, object or creation esp. in writing or art”. Fran

Heather's Garden July 3, 2008, 9:02 pm

I would call your pieces garden art. They are far too elegant to be whimsical. I’m having the same problem with the topic this month. I have a few silly frogs and will probably just post a link to an old post on them, but overall, whimsy is just not my “thing.”

I would certainly call ‘silly frogs’ whimsical. I’m going to get on your site now to see what they look like. Your kind to call my pieces ‘garden art’. I don’t consider them to be that, but if you say so, then let it be! Happy 4th! Fran

Kitt July 4, 2008, 3:51 am

My friends have a wonderful face in their garden, discovered buried in it and now part of a stone wall.

Here’s a photo.

Thanks for directing me to your blog so that I could check out the face. It is pretty phenomenal. Also thought your blog was terrific as well. Fran

Mr. McGregor's Daughter July 11, 2008, 6:12 pm

I have the same glass head. I think I got it at Pier One over 20 years ago. An artistic piece can be displayed whimsically, such as your placement of that head so that it gets swallowed up by the greenery. Now you see it, now you don’t.

Can’t believe that you have the same glass head. Do you have it in the garden as well? And if so, where? Fran

ESP July 13, 2008, 12:21 am

I have a couple of stone heads that have moved about over the last few years.
Check out these postings on my site:

“Summer = Insanity in Texas”
“I built a Vine Tunnel – and a Troll moved in”

Got onto your site to see what you were talking about. That vine tunnel is pretty awesome. And it appears that you have quite a sense of humour in your garden. Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing. Fran

Mr. McGregor's Daughter July 20, 2008, 1:28 pm

Fran – I think the head is in the basement. LOL! Maybe I should put it in the garden in the summer. It used to sit on top of my bookshelf when I lived in an apartment.

Go for it! Then send me a picture once it is ensconced in its new home surrounded by plants. Fran

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