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?
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.
One surfaced beneath a tree. Treading mulch, as hippos do.
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.
“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.
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 posts, newsletters, public speaking and workshops, photos, videos, merchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. www.debraleebaldwin.com