A huge snake made of sandbags covered with concrete and painted provides seating and a setting for imaginative play at the Soutside Community Garden in Sacramento, Calif.
Gardens and art are inseparable partners supporting and enlivening each other.
There’s magic in both.
And in some of the community gardens I have visited, artists have done great work creating masterpieces that bring people in, surround them with beauty and offer them the opportunity to connect with one another and with nature.
Community engagement is what community gardens are all about, right?
I have often said you don’t need to be a gardener to enjoy the gardens. There’s so much more than vegetables and flowers growing and being nourished.
The creative expression can be playful like a maze to wander or a half-wrecked boat to pretend to be the captain of the seas. It can be a shelter of branches that provide a shady tunnel to explore or a sunflower house big enough for children’s programming.
I have seen sprinklers in the shape of great trees, concrete snake seating made of sandbags and painted with happy colors, and welcoming hide-aways such as bean pole tipis.
Art can be functional and beautiful like this entrance gate to the Peralta Community Garden in Berkeley, California. At some gardens, the entrance gates are sculpted metal flowers and vines. I have seen fences and arches made of garden tools, tile sundials and mosaics depicting hawks, flowers and insects.
I have lots to share from my travels and I’m hoping you’ll share too.
If your community garden has art incorporated into the landscape, please send me a photo. I’d like to start a regular feature showing this creative side of community gardens around the world.
Thank you. Natalie