Last week, we took the kids to Florida for a little family time and a much-needed break from the brutal winter we’ve had in the Northeast. After a couple of days hitting the theme parks in Orlando, we made our way down south to Palm Beach county (our happy place!). Whenever we travel, I like to check out events and goings-on in the local area. I mean, why not? I truly believe you should experience all that the area has to offer on a local level, like farmers markets, art shows, flea markets and craft fairs, things of that nature. I came across an ad for an art exhibit at the Mounts Botanical Garden. The exhibit, called “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” consisted of nearly a dozen installations made from debris (mostly plastic) that washed ashore from our oceans. It was impressive and eye-opening at the same time.
While walking through the lush, colorful gardens and viewing these incredible works of art, like the giant Americana Starfish or the cute Sea Walrus (pictured below), I began to find inspiration for my own landscape gardens around every corner.
In addition to the native Floridian trees, flowers and plants offering color and beauty in their natural state, there were countless urns, pots, sculpture art and carved tribal/Egyptian-inspired pieces that added another level of detail and dimension in and around the plantings. I found this play on landscape-hardscape (soft vs. hard) to be very pleasing to the eye in this type of natural environment. Whether adding an oversized copper urn with years of patina to your landscape, or a more modern, abstract piece of carved cement, the juxtaposition of soft-hard, old-new and natural-manmade elements in a landscape garden environment will take your outdoor living experience to a whole new level! Year after year, these garden elements look better with age and the surrounding plantings naturally grow in and around them, making these pieces look as if they’ve always been there!
Here are some of my favorite elements and inspirations from our visit to Mounts Botanical Gardens. I can’t wait to add elements like these to my landscape gardens. What about you?