Skipping a Season

Autumn has come to my garden, but I haven’t been here to see it!

I’ve been here, there, and everywhere, encouraged by an extra week driving the Mustang (my poor car’s been in the shop for almost a month!).

The last of the tomatoes are rotting on the vines (the ones that the squirrels aren’t eating), the tomatillo has given up the ghost, and the basil has grown gangly waiting for me to make pesto. The lima beans were ready long ago, but I have yet to eat one. Soon I’ll have lettuces and greens waiting impatiently for harvest.

Christmas limas

purple tomatillo

I treated myself to one more piece of glass garden art. Having taken art classes, I’m aware that you should never have a pair of something, so I decided I needed a cluster of three. The tall one in the back is the newest one.

three bits of orange

So where have I been if I haven’t been in my garden? First there was a retreat in Southern Indiana not far from strip mine land.

strip mine graveyard

Then it was Hamilton, Ohio for a two week art residency at InsideOut Studio. I stayed in a hotel with a great view of the Great Miami River and spent several afternoons walking on the bike path on the river’s banks. Autumn was just starting to approach and there were the first signs of color in the trees. There was also another fancy wind sculpture downtown that looked very similar to the one I discovered here in Evansville. On my final day, Hamilton celebrated Operation Pumpkin, a city street festival that included (among other things) a giant pumpkin contest. I’d never seen so many enormous, bloated, sagging mounds of flesh in my life!

My art residency required a good collection of old clothing, and one day on the way to the local thrift store I just happened to spot this on a side street:

first glimpse

Is that a ton of found object garden art and kinetic sculpture? It is! Right next to the Big Boy in Fairfield! I had the presence of mind to note where it was and went back later. There was a sign on the fence saying that they were going to sell their art at Operation Pumpkin. Oh joy! I took one photo, but was afraid of looking too crazy so I didn’t take more.

I did, in fact, purchase some great art from them. It was within my price range! I would have bought more, but I didn’t want to spend all my residency earnings on garden art. It was good because you can only pack so much into a Mustang.

The next morning, I returned to the welding shop, determined to get some additional photos. No one seemed to be around, so I walked up to the fence and started taking photos of all the awesomeness. I didn’t notice when the owners drove up, so the next thing I knew, one of them asked if I wanted to go inside the fence to take more photos.

I said sure. They had lots of art made out of bike parts, including ingenious wind spinners built from bike wheels.

I think she thought I was a little nuts. I tried to explain how cool I thought their art was and how I work for a place where this stuff would fit right in. In retrospect, they actually made all this stuff, so I think THEY must be as crazy as me.

I found a great newspaper story about them here.

On the way home, I stopped at Yew Dell Gardens, a botanical garden along I71 in Kentucky. I’d always seen the sign for it but had never had an opportunity to stop. It wasn’t the ideal day or season, but there were some nice things to see including wonderful gourds growing suspended along a tunnel and interesting varieties of toad lily.

And finally, here’s my new garden art installed in my garden.




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