Art In The Garden

WELCOME to the 2014 #AtoZ Blog Challenge

Inspired By My Pinterest Boards: This Year’s Category is GARDENING

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] 


Hydrangeas in Needlepoint by Linda Carden 

Every gardener leaves his or her signature on their little bit of heaven enhanced by an artistic eye. The art hanging on my walls, my Pinterest board -Art That Inspires a Gardener’s Heart, all say something about who I am. Art in the garden evolves, a work in progress, like the soil you amend, the design you implement, the plants you install.

b9e3b36a2a9a21a4ccb2f70fea6b2bb8 I can’t drawn a straight line, but wouldn’t I LOVE to be able to take a chair and turn it into this work of art.


Bowling balls aren’t my thing, but I LOVE the whimsy of this; the placement of these recycled balls on stairs is one gardener’s work of art in the garden.


A lovely stone statue on a pedestal in my garden. When first placed it looked like this. Below surrounded by iris.


Remember less is more. Select thoughtfully.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge -April 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Art In The Garden

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    I really like the painted chair.

  2. Barbara Williamson says:

    That last picture is YOUR Garden? Ooooohhh, it is wonderful!

  3. Still grieving over leaving the garden you see in the photo. In moving there is this opportunity to begin again, but caring for a garden is harder every year so I need to have a ‘reality check’ with decisions in the new endeavor. Today, off to buy some plants, however.

  4. kristin says:

    I left a wonderful garden – mostly vegetables – when we moved 7 years ago. I had plans to start another one but we have so many trees, it’s impossible. Very sad. Gardening was a huge part of my adult life. If I wasn’t afraid they’d fall on the house, I’d wish a couple of trees would fall over. Good luck with your new garden.

    • Wish we had been neighbors so I could have enjoyed your vegetables and you my English garden. When I wrote Greening of a Heart, the potager plays a big role in the story line and researching famous ones like Rosemary Verey’s potager in England was life changing. Maybe you will have time to visit my gardening theme again. Wish we could have a cup of tea and share our photos.

  5. I love your Art in the Garden post. My husband builds garden benches and planter benches and chairs, and I paint or distress them. We haul them around to art shows during the summer months, but only to a few because of the time commitment. Most of my time goes to family and writing, but I do love to paint. We stock up during the winter months, when I reserve some weekends for painting only. We also keep a few of our pieces for our own yard. We like to make each one different, which helps us avoid getting bored. I’m looking forward to seeing you around the A to Z.

  6. I love the bowling balls! I am going to add a lot of color to my garden this year, as a garden can never have enough color to begin with. First there is weeding though, lots and lots and lots of weeding!

    Have a wonderful day,
    Sylvia van Bruggen

  7. I will come and visit your blog and hope some photos appear of your ‘art in the garden’ contribution. Thanks for visiting. Come back.

  8. Susan Scott says:

    Loved your post Stepheny thank you! I moved from a large home and garden last year to new home – and a much smaller garden. It’s been wonderful getting my hands into the soil and admiring the new plants. I moved quite a few of them from old home to new home so there are lovely reminders. Happy planting! Such a creative thing to do!
    Garden of Eden Blog

  9. jwright823 says:

    Returning the view from The Next Chapter, lovely to see what else is being done from the A to Z challenge and you should be very proud of your garden!

  10. I love the painted chair and the bowling balls are such an original idea. I’ll drop by each day to check out your posts.

  11. Jeanette says:

    I love the idea of painted bowling balls in the garden! So clever! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  12. Paula Martin says:

    Love the chair! I’m not at all artistic, but I enjoy seeing other people’s efforts 🙂

  13. Donna B. McNicol [@dbmcnicol] says:

    Wonderful blog post…makes me smile and feel all warm inside. I am SO not a gardener but love flowers!

  14. Down Home Diva says:

    I love the bowling balls! Such a pretty idea.

  15. Leanne Ross says:

    Art gives a garden a focal point beyond the beautiful plants. Lovely!
    Leanne Ross ( & @LeanneRossRF )

  16. Rose F says:

    Oh, I love all these images…especially that chair!

  17. rondawerre42 says:

    I come from a long line of gardeners, but it seems to have skipped my DNA. I love to look and dream that I am a gardener, but alas, I live vicariously through others. I’ll be back to visit yours!

  18. I like all of the ideas but I love that chair. It is adorable. I am enjoying going through your posts. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

  19. halleygentil says:

    My husband and I started a balcony garden since we don’t have much of a yard. Being a bit of a handyman, he built shelving! It’s my “job” (although it doesn’t feel like work at all) to paint/decorate everything. I love the photos you posted and am looking forward to looking at your pinterest board for for inspiration!

  20. Mary says:

    I’m stopping for the A-to-Z Challenge. Thanks for visiting my blog today. Lovely garden ideas! My cousin has a stone statue and she dresses it up with a scarf in winter, or autumn leaves in the fall. It holds a basket so she’ll load it with flowers in the spring.
    Mary at The View from my World

  21. I love the garden art! Your garden is absolutely beautiful— the hedges in the last photograph are amazing. Gardening is something that I would love to get into (although I only have the time for a very small one, it will still be enjoyable to plant when the weather is more reliable).

    I never thought to use recycled bowling balls as garden decorations, but the ones in the photo that you posted are really cool!

    I look forward to checking out more of you A-Z challenge posts this month!

  22. celticmama36 says:

    I love the chair and the bowling balls. The only problem I see with the balls on the steps is that I would break my neck for sure on them, no matter how careful I tried to be. 🙂 Your garden is absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry that you had to leave it behind. Leaving it behind is one thing holding me back on creating the garden of my dreams here at this house. I want to make a memorial garden for our grandmothers and our babies that didn’t make it…but I don’t want to leave it behind. I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life in this house. I’m torn about what to do, because it may turn out that I DO spend the rest of my life here (I don’t want that!).

    Thank you for sharing your gardening posts. I really like the quote at the top of your page about gardens and libraries. My husband and I both agree with it!

    • I met Christopher Lloyd, the famous English gardener (I’ve written about him in an earlier post) in 2000 on a garden tour. I was considering planting a very slow growing boxwood and asked him what he thought about it. His crinkly blue eye smiled. He said, “Ah, but we plant for the next generation.” I came home and planted the “Graham Blandy’ boxwood I wanted.Make your memorial garden, which can be redesigned in a future garden, and let it sooth and minister to you at this time in your life. You deserve that. You already know that love has a cost, but neither you nor I want to miss out on that love. Plant!

      • celticmama36 says:

        Thank you for your encouragement to go ahead with the memorial garden. I know that pink roses will be a major feature of it and since we now live in Texas, yellow roses will be involved, too. Beyond that, I don’t know. I do like the idea of a knot garden, but that will have to wait until I have a bigger yard. We live in the city, so the lot isn’t very big.

        Thank you again. Have a blessed day!

      • Take a look at several of my Pinterest boards that have ideas for smaller gardens. Not the plant material, but the design of the Charleston gardens are all small and city-like space. Small is good, so much easier to create slowly, and save a few pennies along the way. Yellow roses…my favorite.

      • celticmama36 says:

        Thank you. I’ll do that. Looking at other peoples’ Pinterest boards has become a new hobby for me. I especially love the nature-related ones and my other passion, genealogy.

        My late father-in-law liked yellow roses, too. You just gave me an idea for my “R” post…”Roses that I’ve Loved”. Thanks. 🙂

  23. I only have a courtyard garden now but when I had a large garden I used to love having selected art pieces for both interest and to sit and reflect. Love the chair.

  24. Coffee Lady says:

    So pretty. I love all the eye candy in a garden or pretty yard. Don’t know if I will have much of one this summer – with our drought and all.

    • Why not plant a couple of pots,one with herbs, one with flowers. I want you to have something to smile about. Here is a link to one of my Pinterest boards on container gardening that will give you some good ideas. (Sorry, looks like you will have to cut and past the link.) Container Gardening.

  25. Shahira says:

    My knowledge about gardening is practically zero. Hope your posts help me out in learning a little bit atleast!!

    Good luck with the A to Z challenge.

  26. Lisa says:

    I adore art in the garden. I find it really interesting and inspiring. We have 8 acres and I always planned to have a garden with sculptures throughout … 10 years later and I have three balls, a very ugly Easter island statue courtesy of my husband and some pots. Not quite the vision I had in mind … lol

    • Ah, but you have a sense of humor to go with your vision and that counts! Let’s the two of us do something about this. I suggest we start with the pots. Get some potting soil in them this spring, place them in a new location. Does your front porch, steps, need some curb appeal. For very little money, pots are a great place to start. Outback grouped together for more visual impact. The three balls are the right number…3″s & 5’s when planting, grouping. How about buying 3 shrubs you really love, give them space to grow, and use the balls in a tight group with some ground cover and you have a whole new corner with visual interest and art in the garden. Don’t give up.

  27. jny_jeanpretty says:

    Oh this is wonderful I have been looking for you for two days as you mentioned you were going to be writing about gardening, This is a great entry and perfectly beautiful and fun! Hooray!


  28. I do like the painted chair and the bowling balls 🙂

  29. Kristen says:

    I LOVE art in the garden! I used to be a tile painter, so I mostly use tile. I have a beautiful tile mural depicting an ocean scene as a centerpiece in the back of the yard, behind the pool. Then, I have various individual tiles I’ve painted in various spots along the paths and such. I’ve been working on a pond, and was going to build a bridge for it. I wanted to create inlays at the ends with tiles in them. I also want to make a small table and chairs to sit near the pond with some mosaic tiles and such. I love your blog! 🙂

    Random Musings from the KristenHead — A is for ‘Almost Human’ (and Action and Androids)

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