Gardens And Art: The Perfect Combination

This is a copy, or re-blog, I suppose, of a post I did a couple of days ago on my other blog, (Re)Purposeful Painter. My last post was one written by my daughter. She helped me out so that I could attend the annual garden tour in town. This post is about that adventure.

Loveland, Colorado is known as an “art town,” and I am blessed to live here! We were first associated with the arts, as far as I know, because of the sculpture and foundry business. Indeed, Loveland is home to a large and well-known sculpture extravaganza which happens every year in late summer.

In the garden of Lynn Kincanon, shed painted by Fran Judd
In the garden of Lynn Kincanon, shed painted by Fran Judd

Since I arrived here, in 2001 (and before), our little town has been accumulating ever-growing numbers of all description of artists: fiber artists, potters, photographers, and, of course, painters. It’s really fun & inspiring for me to live among such a wonderful group of people!

The sculptures of John Wright
The sculptures of John Wright

As it happens, Colorado is also a great state for gardening, my favorite hobby. Loveland’s annual garden tour, a benefit for Loveland Youth Gardeners, is an event that first got my attention a couple of years ago, when my next-door neighbor was a participant. I’ve wanted to attend ever since; but this year, I actually did it!

Sculptural Gate created by Sharon Shuster Anhorn
Sculptural Gate created by Sharon Shuster Anhorn

Seven homes between the 900 and 1300 block of a nearby street hosted half of Loveland, it seemed, as hat-wearing chatting neighbors and friends toured their gardens. The fantastic thing about this tour was that art was featured in every garden! Most of the art included re-purposed materials. Actually, it was sometimes unclear where the art left off and the garden began.

Antique bicycles, scrap metal, and everything that could become a planter could be discovered among the wandering stone paths and raised beds, all artfully re-purposed. There were sculptures and paintings, ceramic bird houses and water features. And there were not a few pieces of art that included live plants.

Sharon & Mollie
Sharon & Mollie

Thanks to each of you who shared art, plants, and magical spaces. Here’s a list of the gardeners and artists who participated this year:

1) Sharon Shuster Anhorn, artist & gardener, Olivia Lowe, featured artist. I happen to know that Olivia is also a gardener because she is my neighbor. However, her whimsical art was in Sharon’s garden this weekend.

2) Norm & Carol Rehme, gardeners, Sue Quinlan & Charlotte Zink, featured artists. This is also a beautiful home that is an historic property.

3) Lynn Kincanon, gardener & artist, Fran Judd (also a gardener) & Juanita Estepa, featured artists. I’ve gotten to know Fran a bit over the past year. She is one of my all-time-favorite painters!

Artists Lynn Kincanon & Fran Judd
Artists Lynn Kincanon & Fran Judd

4) The Kelleher Garden, Kathi D. Dougherty & Deb Kessler, featured artists. These artists showed their striking glass pieces, which are so perfect for a sunny garden spot.

5) Jan Armstrong & John Wright, gardeners. John is also the featured artist for this garden, a joint effort of next door neighbors who share plants, chickens, and art. This delightful couple went beyond the official end time to engage us in conversation & show us some wonderful creations we otherwise would have missed.

Chickens in the Wright Armstrong garden
Chickens in the Wright Armstrong garden

A bit about Loveland Youth Gardens: They seek to “cultivate skills, stewardship & service in young people through sustainable gardening & healthy living practices.” I met a few of these fine teens, and they educated me about their garden plots and community service. Check them out at http://www.LovelandYouthGardeners.org. I’m inspired!

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