The Impermanent Hippos of Louisa’s Garden

– Posted in: Succulents

Hippos resized

When I arrived at Louisa’s garden, the first thing I noticed was a mother hippo and her baby, made of metal, in the driveway. Well, if you had a couple of hippos, where would you keep them?

Hippo resized

Before long, it was like a where’s-Waldo hunt. Where would the next hippo appear? I became attuned to little ears, beady eyes, flaring nostrils, and rusty skin covered with a patchwork of welds.

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One surfaced beneath a tree. Treading mulch, as hippos do.

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Another was right behind it. I asked Louisa how many hippos in all. She hesitated, evidently taking a mental tally. “Five.”

I nodded. Four big, one little.

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“Wait! There’s another!” I said.

“Oh, are there THREE down there?” Louisa asked, looking down over her patio rail. “Why yes, there are. OK, six then.”

For a couple of years, Louisa explained, an artist from Africa had rented a studio from her because her home is within walking distance of the San Diego Zoo. The artist—a metal sculptor—created many wonderful life-sized animals out of repurposed metal, including the gorilla in her front yard.

Gorilla resized

Well, yes, I had noticed the gorilla in her front yard. “He had to leave some hippos behind when he left,” Louisa said. “He couldn’t take them with him. So they’re not really mine. They’re on loan.”

Ah, of course. Impermanent hippos.

So, how about you? I suspect you have no hippos, but are there any delightfully unexpected, odd or unusual art (or other objects) in your garden? I confess to having a few, but that’s another post. ;+)

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified.  www.debraleebaldwin.com 

 

 

 

Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra is a regular contributor to Sunset and other publications, and her own half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Debra specializes in showing how to use architectural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications. www.debraleebaldwin.com.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin

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Rebecca June 6, 2014, 9:39 am

No hippos here (yet). However, I’d be happy to host one (or six) – permanently even!
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Pam/Digging June 8, 2014, 11:44 pm

Funny that you post about hippos in a garden because I just did the same. I visited a garden in Hutton, Texas, which had quite a collection of Hutto Hippos. I took pics of only a sampling. Boy, were they fun. Click my link to see the post; I wasn’t able to add it to my comment.
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Tira July 5, 2014, 3:42 pm

Hi Debra those hippos are really cool. Thanks for the fun post. I have to complete a new succulent bed late this month so will be going back to your books and pics again.
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Debra Lee Baldwin July 7, 2014, 1:55 am

I do love whimsy in gardens, but these are over the top. Pam, those Hutto Hippos are indeed fun! What a coincidence!