Category Archives: USA

Friday Bench: Along the median strip

I first came across this bench when Diana shared photos of it sometime last year. I loved its redness amongst the soft wispy grass, and I never dreamt I’d get to see it for real.

Fast forward to this year’s Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, Texas and there it was waiting for discovery on  Saturday morning. We were visiting Colleen Jamison’s garden – which was gorgeous – but it’s what she’s done with the median strip outside her house which merits attention on this particular blog.

Not only is there the sassy red bench, there are plenty more, with most of them primped with inviting bright cushions. I was concerned about theft, and Colleen assured me there has been very little since she’s  tended this strip of land.

It’s now Colleen’s favourite area, because “people seem to really enjoy it!” She also describes it as the most challenging part she has to garden because “the space had terrible soil, no irrigation, and was covered by weeds and browsed nightly by deer. I wanted to see if I could garden successfully in the worst of the worst conditions.” … “Little by little, a garden emerged.”

It’s a triumph. At the end of our visit it was fitting we Flingers chose this inviting area to gather and chat whilst we awaited the return of our tour bus.

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Friday Bench: Charlottesville

In a week when the news from Charlottesville was vile, it’s been good to remind myself that our stay there a few weeks ago was great. Here’s the downtown area in more peaceful times complete with some tippity top pots and public planting.

Here’s hoping the better times return soon.

Madison, Jefferson, Monroe

The fourth (Madison), third (Jefferson) and fifth (Monroe) Presidents of the United States stand guard over one of the main entrances to downtown Charlottesville from their eyrie on City Hall. Jefferson and Madison are two of the States’ founding fathers, and James Monroe is considered to be one too, depending on which online sources are consulted.

The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil.” ~ James Monroe.

Not far away is the Freedom of Speech wall on 605 E Main Street. On it is inscribed the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which ironically usually lies unseen beneath all the chalked free expression.

Friday Bench: Mosaic

Now you see him…

…Now you don’t 😉

The poster in C’Ville Arts Cooperative Gallery‘s window says (abridged and anglicised slightly):

“Seat of Harmony

Created for C’Ville Arts Artists’ Cooperative by Virginia Gardner December 2007.

The loveseat is sculpted in polystyrene. Sheets of poly were laminated together to form large blocks, which were then sculpted to form a large, comfy sofa. Several layers of fibreglass mesh and concrete were applied, over which the mosaic of mixed materials was applied.

It was designed specifically for this spot outside C’Ville Arts and is not for sale.

Artists from the cooperative contributed small personal objects which were also incorporated into the design, representing the cooperative nature of their organisation. The five elements of Feng Shui (Water, Fire, Earth, Wood and Metal) have been defined symbolically and form the basis of the design. Feng Shui can be described as the natural path with the least resistance. The practice of Feng Shui is about creating harmony within our environment.

The Hole in the centre is provided for drainage. I would appreciate it if you do not place objects in the hole. It’s a pain cleaning it out. Thank you.”

Visitors are encouraged to take photos and send them to the gallery. Sadly the website address given on the sign no longer appears to exist. I’ll be sending this blog post to them by other means 🙂