Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kitsch or Quaint?

Jennifer of http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.com/2011/05/garden-gnomes-cute-or-tacky_03.html  has done a great post on the much maligned Garden Gnome. She is an artist, an avid gardener and a marvellous photographer. Along with her three beautiful dogs, Jennifer will keep you delightfully entertained each time you visit.

Her post today reminded me of a garden my husband and I drove past some years ago.  We went back to have a second, better look, driving around the block twice. To the consternation of my husband, I insisted on taking a rather hurried couple of pictures from the car's open window, even though the owner's car was parked outside and my husband reminded me that it could be considered rude.

What do you think?

Please click the Read more button below to continue this post...
It's clear the owners take pride in their garden and have been passionately collecting garden ornaments over a long time.

The area around the base of the tree has been cemented and painted green, so that all the little ornaments can be displayed permanently (it looks as though many of them have been firmly attached in place). Coloured lights are strung in the trees, so it's all lit up at night. It looks very much as though they've done their garden with visiting grandchildren in mind.

There are lots of little potted plants to be watered regularly, too, so this is a garden that clearly receives plenty of loving attention.

It may be 'overdone' by many standards, and may not be considered 'tasteful', but it certainly attracts attention and my guess is that it's been the starting point for many a conversation. I'm fairly sure I was not the first passerby to photograph it, either! I do wonder just how many individual pieces make up the display and whether any ever go 'missing'?

If you haven't already done so, please do pop over to Jennifer at Three Dogs in a Garden and see the post that inspired me to do this one :)


  1. You know how the say: the beauty is in the eye of the beholder :) There is a fine limit between kitsch and nice!

  2. Not quite my 'cup of tea'...but you can tell it was created with love and care and must give someone great pleasure.

  3. I can imagine it a magical place for grand kids but it may cause some nightmares as well

  4. OMW, Desiree, I did a double-take at these ornaments. Mmmm, no comment but as you say: a conversation piece to be sure. You got some pretty clear photos seeing as you were quite far away, taking the photos in a hurry and with a flustered husband in the background. He sounds like mine: Everytime I lift the camera in a built-up area, he gets nervous. LOL. I popped over to The Squashed tomato via your link this morning. Will check out Jennifer's blog now too. Have a great week, my friend. Blessings Jo

  5. What i think ??? o no !! is this real ???or am i dreaming..........so nice !!! ...love Ria...xxx...

  6. I think everyone should do what they want with their gardens, that's what gives them character. I personally wouldn't put quite that many in mine, but with two kids we definitely have quite the collection of garden art. I like to tuck them under plants sometimes. I remember my grandparents and my great aunt and uncle having gnomes, etc in theirs and my sisters and I still talk about how much fun it made it to go visiting them.

    Hope all is well with you! I've been really busy and hardly on the computer this past week. Getting lots done outside though :)

  7. They've made a Gnome wonderland! And so I don't think it's rude to take pictures. Anyone who loves to adorn their yard in this manner must love to have a little attention now and then.
    Thank you for the fantastic comment on my blog today. I'm enjoying my visits here with you:)

  8. Desiree,
    How sweet of you to give my blog and I such kind and generous referral! Thanks so much!! If I may return the compliment, I always enjoy your blog and the comments you leave after you visit mine. I appreciate that you don't rush in and out, but take the time to write a something thoughtful and interesting.
    There is something about the house in your post, that makes me think that the person who lives there is a warm-hearted soul, who just loves his/her garden. And I bet really young neighborhood children think that the garden is absolutely magical.
    Okay, it isn't very tasteful, but some part of me appreciates the dedication and enthusiasm that went into gathering such an immense collection.
    My final thought after seeing all the pictures of the garden- If this is what the outside of the house looks like, what does the inside look like?? I'd make a bet it is so cluttered you can hardly move!!
    To each his own.
    P.S. You have a beautiful house and garden! I loved looking around the garden in the previous post.

  9. I love the way you find the positive in things! My mother has a friend whose yard looks quite similar...I'll have to try and get a few shots next time I up there!

  10. Oh, my! We had neighbors a few years back who were working up to a collection like this. Not my taste but it always made me happy to see it.

  11. I love quirky and eccentric and I think lawn ornaments are fine. This reminds me of where I am from in NY. Many of the houses in the blue collar neighborhoods would have yards decorated with gnomes, deer, flamingos and statues of the Virgin Mary or St. Francis (if not both). These just so happened to be the best lit houses come Christmas time. However, gnomes just really creep me out. They are right up there with sad face clowns as traumatizing. Not sure why.

  12. Wow!! Although I might have planned my garden a little differently, I still loved the kind of fairytale abandon that garden reflects. I don't care if it's overdone, I could spend hours playing in that garden!! :D :D
    And I agree with Catherine, your garden should reflect your taste, and personality, and character. It is a place for you to express yourself, not worry about public opinion.. :) :)


    I pride myself on trying to visit everyone I follow as often as possible. I enjoy all of you so much and have deliberately surrounded myself with the type of up-beat, happy bloggers as possible.

    However, recently I have taken in my 32 year old granddaughter and her two children. It has been such a monumental change for me I am finding it hard to keep up my blogging, and my visiting.

    I hate to admit it but there have been some difficulties with adjustments (on both sides) and I find that I just don't have the time to do the things I want to do. I also seem to be letting it get me down.

    Just give me some time and I will be back on my game soon....I'm sure......kt

  14. The owner of the garden has certainly worked hard to decorate it. Unfortunately, to me, it looks a bit like kitsch, probably because of old kindergarten toys and old-fashioned porcelain trinkets. It certainly does catch one's eye though.

  15. Mmmmm I think it is kitsch. I also wonder if any go missing and then send post cards back to the owner.

  16. ...although i wouldn't decorate MY lawn with all those gnomes...and other stuff like that...i've seen many houses that seem to have gone a little overboard...like that!

    there's a house not too far from me...and there's a chain l,ink fence going all around the property...well, the owner has stuffed animals...plastic dolls...and other odd little toys...stuck IN and ON the fence!!

    it's eye-catching...and kind of funny!! to each his own!! it's what makes us all unique!! ha! :]

    ((FYI: by the way...my latest post didn't make it into google reader AGAIN! OR any other FEED! so please go visit me when u get a chance...suwannee river post!))

  17. I think I want to see those pictures!

    I love kitschy yards, I love the people who create them. They create their own entertainment and I am not one to be shy about appreciating their efforts.

  18. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I think it would make a wonderful fantasy land for the grandkids!

  19. Maybe the flowers were dormant in the hot season or dead in the winter season...whatever the colors just weren't there for her...so she took control and released the gnomes.
    Color in any garden is good.

  20. I wouldn't do my own garden this way, but for someone with young children/grandchildren, it is like providing a miniature wonderworld (until the novelty wears off at least!).

  21. WoW! What more can I say?! That is obviously gnome heaven. It's not my sort of thing, although I do believe that garden gnomes are getting trendy again now - really??!! You can see that this garden is very loved and I'm sure that you're not the only one who has stopped to take photographs. Quite a spectacular and colourful sight. Forgive me for being a bit late in commenting.

  22. I always used to get my son to shave by pretending to sit on a toadstool and hold a fishing rod! It usually worked ;) gnomes are a personal choice aren't they? Not for me though. There's no room in my garden for them due to all the rabbits and moles but Fred and Ethel have a large one in the front garden. Xoxo

  23. Hi Desiree, it was pretty cool of you to visit my blog, so I'm here to check out yours ;-)

    I reckon the lady wouldn't mind one bit. Plain to see she's right into her little friends and probably gets a real kick when she sees someone with a camera.

    My human lady said to tell you that (for once) she agrees with me. Bye for now, Rebs ^O^

    p.s. your blog rocks!

  24. Oh my goodness! It's clear these people love their gnomes and stuff. I think it's great you made yourself and them happy by stopping to photograph this wonder of the world.

  25. One wonderful thing about any garden is that it is done at the descretion of the gardener and a way to express your self and what pleases you. To me,this is cluttered. I'm not sure I'd appreciate being their neighbor either.

    I do believe you can do kitsch in a tasteful way, as in a collection all in one place arranged in a creative way. One time I saw a collective arrangement of the ubitqutous pink flamingos all the same size, facing the same way in a bed of all one tropical plant. It was lovely and delightful!

    I, too, wonder about the possible clutter situation inside the home. Not relaxing, like I like a garden to bebut whatever 'floats your boat'. hahaha

  26. Well, maybe I wouldn't want my garden like that but it looks great fun, and I'm quite sure if there are grandchildren they will think it's fantastic. The sort of thing memories are made of and they'll be telling their own grandchildren in years to come.


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