Gratitude, Perspective, and Garden Art

I planned all spring and summer to buy new garden ornaments to adorn Flora’s Abode, aka my garden. And here it is mid-September. It just didn’t happen. Unexpected healthcare costs, among other unexpected and expected costs, came up and of course there’s never enough extra for the fun, frivolous things, right? I wanted new birdhouses. A new fountain. A new water sprinkler–one of the fancy decorative ones. And some unique, new artwork. And of course, new hardscape would be awesome, too. Alas…

I know the remedy for wanting something that you can’t have right now is gratitude for what you do have right now. So, I walked around the garden with my camera and fresh eyes and took photos of a few ornaments, pots, and baubles that are already gracing Flora’s Abode. This backyard walkabout made me realize I have a lot of fun, unique, interesting garden ornaments and pieces of art. Each piece has a special story to go along with it and I reminisced as I wandered around. I’m not a fancy person and my garden isn’t fancy, either. We are both kinda funky, shabby chic, and Wabi-sabi. Very Velveteen Rabbit-like.

As for new garden ornaments and additions–there’s always next year. But for now, I’m pretty happy about all that I do have. Gratitude is a powerful quality and an antidote to feelings of lack. For most of us, all we have is all we need. And if that’s not something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is. Thanks for strolling through my garden with me.

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42 thoughts on “Gratitude, Perspective, and Garden Art

  1. I laughed out loud when I saw you have Frank!! I have wanted to have Frank and Sidd in my gardens for forever – and have only got Sidd and a cat. I’ve never found Frank but I have an ongoing dream of having a beautiful forest glade courtyard with Frank and Sidd gracing it. Or Kevin – I’d go with Kevin if I could find him……. But you have Frank and that absolutely delights me!! You’ve got my day off to an excellent start Cheryl xoxo

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      1. Oh, so sorry. This has been an in-joke among those who know me well for so long now – and clearly you have been put in that category defacto 😀 ‘Sidd’ is for Siddhartha the Buddha and ‘Frank’ is St Francis of Assisi. They remind me that I must love and honour the inner world and the outer world equally. I have one ‘Sidd’ inside and another outside and another masquerading as a dog who goes wherever he chooses – but no ‘Frank’ at all. The Kevin reference, because you now need to be fully in the know of all this – is the Celtic Saint Kevin who, the legend goes, stood for a full season with his hands uplifted in praise of creation because a blackbird had build her nest in his upturned hand and laid her eggs while he was in contemplation. Never having seen a garden with a ‘Frank’ standing in it before I was so over excited I completely confused you. This is what happens apparently as one ages 😀

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      2. We also are more easily confused as we age! 🙋🏼‍♀️ I love that you call Francis Frank. I have several Siddies inside. And the story of St. Kevin has always been one of my absolute favorites, as you might imagine. I’m honored to be placed in the category of those who know you well for so long. And you know what? I feel like it’s true!

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      3. Clearly I also feel that way….. The whole naming thing is also a bit of tip of the hat to the fact that in these here parts we are much given to shortening given names – so Sidd, Frank and Kev can live happily and anonymously in my neighbourhood. PS I would have been very surprised had you not known the story of Kev, but I didn’t want to assume………..

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  2. Strolling through your garden was delightful, Cheryl. It appears vast and extending into the woodlands with so many fun things that I am sure touch your heart whenever in view. Positioning the gazing ball among driftwood is an interesting juxtaposition and I am curious to learn how “Flora’s Abode” came about.

    Upon seeing the smatterings of hearts, angels, and collection of watering cans (old oil cans like the Tin Man’s in The Wizard of Oz are my fancy), confirms we are kindred spirits. But, seeing the message “With God all things are possible” was unbelievable as that has been my mantra since a small child. Surely, our connection runs deep.

    Even if you didn’t get the things you “planned” this summer, I’ve often found that only means something better is coming. And you did get an awesome Labyrinth which I know you are grateful for too.

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    1. Ah yes, there is a deep connection. Flora was my paternal grandmother’s name and I loved her dearly. I also love nature’s flora. I wanted to name both of my daughters Flora, then three cats, and I always got outvoted. So I named my garden–MY hortus conclusus–Flora’s Abode. Then I adopted a kitty that was found in the garden I used to work at and named her Flora. Lots of Flora now:) My garden is teeny tiny; I think the pictures create a trompe l’oeil!

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  3. Thank you for the tour. Your garden is very special. This line from your post is perfect: “Gratitude is a powerful quality and an antidote to feelings of lack.” I’m working on feeling grateful. It takes effort because our society expects us to always want what we don’t have. But the effort is worth recognizing what I have and being grateful for it.

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  4. Not only do we have all we need, Cheryl, we often have more than we need! I loved walking around your garden and making all the little discoveries … I’m quite partial to green men, and also particularly liked the angel and Celtic cross. I have some things here you might like, and I don’t even have a garden. Can I send them to you? LOL. (Actually, I really would if you’d take them!) You can not only be grateful for what you do have, but you can also rearrange things until your next chance to “expand” comes along, and be grateful for that, too. 🙂

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  5. I like your attitude! Although I subscribe to this philosophy myself, it can never hurt to be reminded of it. Sometimes the wants just get out ahead of the gratitude, and a nice little reminder like this can put the brakes on the former! Lovely garden, too!

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  6. I always mean to get things for the yard and end up not getting them in time, but this year I wanted two rambling rose plants and I was organised enough to get them – something has been eating the leaves of one of them, but that’s another story….Your garden looks magical – full of trinkets and interesting things to look at, and intriguing corners!

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  7. Wow, Cheryl – some lovely garden art! I love pottering around my garden re-looking at everything and appreciating. I plant quite haphazardly into my beds so they take some looking after to keep them looking their best in their busyness, but I wouldnt have it any other way. My hips are objecting these days as I do so much crawling about weeding, so i’m praying they can keep up with the garden! Looking forward to autumn/winter when the garden and I can have a rest. Thank you for sharing these wonderful corners of your garden!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! I also plant a bit haphazardly here. My garden is often referred to by neighbors and new people I meet as the house with the English cottage garden. I consider that a real compliment. Most folks around me have very manicured lawns, hedges, and no busy flower borders. I garden completely differently. I hope your hips hold up and hold you up! We’ll have a bit of a rest soon.

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