- Author: Sharon L. Rico
I find when touring the gardens of family and friends, that their gardens are usually a mirror of their personality. Our niece has her vegetables planted in neat rows next to a hanging blue teardrop ornamental globe. A friend has an unusual succulent collection planted in boots, shells and birdhouses. Our cousin has faces decorating her garden. There are smiling faces on fences and face containers holding assorted flowering plants. As much as I love and appreciate plants in their landscapes, I’m drawn to their unique whimsical garden art.
Six years ago at the San Jose Master Gardener Conference, Felder Rushing was a speaker. He is an interesting character, full of life, and quite whimsical himself. He impressed the audience with his knowledge of plants and painted pictures for everyone with his words. Being a horticulture professor he knew his plants well, and his ability to engage his audience was his forte. When purchasing his book Tough Plants for California Gardens and having him autograph it, his advice was “have fun making your garden smile”.
Felder Rushing has written many books which are great resources for Master Gardeners. He has recently written a book that will be published in January, titled Bottle Trees and other Whimsical Glass Art for the Garden. I’m looking forward to reading this latest publication as it will contain the 3000 year history of bottle trees, insights and quotes about having fun in the garden along with information and photos of a glass forest in Germany.
Several other great books by Felder Rushing are Scarecrows: Making Harvest Figures and other Yard Folks, Garden Hearts and Slow Gardening: A no Stress philosophy for all senses and seasons. He feels creative expression is central to the gardening experience and recommends that gardeners follow their own bliss. So this summer I added a dark blue glass flower to a raised container planted with a dwarf plumbago. When I see it glistening in the early morning sunlight, I think of the bliss my little garden brings to my heart.