Tag Archives: garden art

Chihuly’s Glass Menagerie Illuminates Denver Botanic Gardens

Chihuly's Summer Sun brightens the walkway in front of Denver Botanic Garden's water-wise garden.

Chihuly’s Summer Sun brightens the walkway in front of Denver Botanic Garden’s water-wise garden.

I’m not a person who gasps easily. But that’s just what I did throughout my visit to the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit last week at Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG). Chihuly’s sculptures are simply gorgeous, especially against the backdrop of DBG’s stunning flora.

Chihuly is the foremost glass artist in the country, and the DBG show marks the first time he has mounted a major outdoor exhibition in the Rocky Mountain Region. The show runs until November 30, 2014, and if you’re in Denver during that time, don’t miss it.

Neon purple reeds mirror the vegetation in the Monet Pond.

Neon purple reeds mirror the vegetation in the Monet Pond.

Inspired by nature, Chihuly’s pieces range from a vivid red, orange and yellow summer sun to a boat filled with purple and blue sculptures simulating elkhorn coral. The show includes 14 sites displaying the artist’s work.

In case you’re wondering, the glass sculptures are surprisingly durable, according to Chihuly’s staff. So if we get a hailstorm in Denver, the art is likely to suffer much less than the plants.

Blue and Purple Boat sparkles in the sunlight as it floats in the pond at the Japanese garden.

Blue and Purple Boat sparkles in the sunlight as it floats in the pond at the Japanese garden.

2 Comments

Filed under Landscape Design, Whimsy

More Whimsy: Create Wind Chimes from Recycled Utensils

A recycled cookie cutter and flatware, combined with beads and a colander, make an inexpensive, charming wind chime.

A recycled cookie cutter and flatware, combined with beads and a colander, make an inexpensive, charming wind chime.

Add the soft tinkling of wind chimes to your garden by fashioning a chime from recycled cookie cutters and flatware.

For the top of mine, I used a mini colander.  But you can also use graters, teapots, metal soap dishes, metal lamp shades or other dome-like pieces.  Then use fishing line to string beads and tie hanging pieces to the colander.

The trickiest part is drilling holes in the ends of the flatware.  First, make a scratch on the back of the spoon or fork handle with a scribe tool.  This scratch will show you where to drill and help the drill bit get a grip on the metal instead of skating around.  Then, place the spoon or fork into a vise to hold it steady.  Next, drill a hole where you made the scratch.

Be sure to buy a drill bit that’s labeled for heavy metal and stainless steel.  I used a 1/16″ bit.

If you live in the Denver area, you can sign up for my free wind chime workshop July 11 at Denver Public Library’s Bear Valley branch.  To register, just call 720-865-0975 or email fclmybranch@denverlibrary.org.

Update: Workshop participants at the July 11 wind chime workshop display their finished products.

Update: Workshop participants at the July 11 wind chime workshop display their finished products.

Leave a comment

Filed under Landscape Design, Whimsy

Couple Transforms Denver Back Yard Into Whimsical Retreat

From the entrance onward, the Aegerter garden surrounds guests with a lush, tropical ambiance.

Steve and Kathy Aegerter know how to have a good time in the garden.

Their creative use of plants and garden art reflects their fun-loving attitude toward life in general.  Take their collections, for example.  Kathy, who’s retired from the education administration, has collected funky, colorful birdhouses, watering cans and pots, which she displays throughout the garden.

Steve, who runs a landscape design and installation company, has artfully arranged the plants and hardscape to lend a tropical feel to the couple’s Denver back yard.  He refers to the patio area as PV, which is reminiscent of the couple’s annual trips to Puerto Vallarta.  Steve also has created other “destinations,” or garden seating areas, including Paradise, Punta Mita and Palmetto.

Kathy Aegerter (left), in a blue tropical shirt, relaxes with visiting master gardeners on the couple’s back patio. Steve, also in a tropical shirt, oversees festivities in the background.

Grasses sway in the breeze.  Lights adorn the patio and other seating areas.  Painted flowers enliven a back fence.  It’s a regular paradise.  If you don’t believe me, just check out the photos below.

Steve. a former college art major, displays his skill with a brightly painted fence and swing to light up a back corner of the garden. Two of Kathy’s vibrant bird houses complete the picture.

What advice does Steve offer other gardeners who want to add whimsy and interest to their gardens?  “Use lots of different colors and leaf textures in your plants,” he says.  As for finding garden art, he suggests, “Keep a sharp eye out for interesting objects.  You might find something on sale at Home Depot that nobody else wants.  You can find things almost anywhere.”

Bright watering cans surround an antique scythe on a fence along the entrance to the Aegerters’ tropical paradise.

The Aegerters skillfully combine the smoooth texture of a terra cotta vase with the varied textures of grasses, groundcovers and shrubs.

Lights twinkle above this seating area surrounded by raised beds. A repurposed tractor seat sits in the foreground.

2 Comments

Filed under Landscape Design