Thursday, August 03, 2006

My next project

I've thought about it, and the garden stuff topic can't be disposed of in a couple of posts. It's a book, maybe even a series of books. Serious research, thoughtful explication, all that.

I’ll have to wait until I have the time to really devote to this. However, in the meantime, I could record some notes for…

Categories and sub-categories for a taxonomy of garden objects, including:

Mass-produced
Handmade
Religious
Mythological
“Found” faux)
“Found”(genuine)
“Art” (fine)
“Art” (craft)
Functional
Decorative

There's more, but you can see how complex this can get.

“Religious,” for example, is a big category and one that foreshadows many of the icons we see in contemporary gardens. I would suggest that the Virgin Mary was once very common in gardens, but has since been replaced by sculptural images of St. Francis of Assisi.

“Mythological” is very interesting, too. What is there about a garden that implies fairies and dwarves (surely the precursor for gnomes)? And then, why only fairies and gnomes? Why not Aphrodite and Adonis—Adonis's blood is said to have created the anemone? Much more interesting, I would think, though the prospect of commissioning an Adonis/Aphrodite statue is somewhat daunting.

Indeed, nineteenth century garden designers and their ancestors did think in grand mythological terms. Today, we’ve boiled it down to a group of vaguely evocative mass-produced objects.

But I digress. On to the taxonomy!

4 comments:

Catherine said...

The gnome began losing it's popularity when the mass produced plastic and then resin gnomes came onto the scene beginning in the early 60's. Up until then the garden gnome traditionally handmade in terracotta clay was a cherished, collectible ornament that stayed in the family and was passed down through the generations. We have gnomes in our collection that are 150+ years old and have been with the same family all that time!

So you have a species cross there...mythological AND art. :o)

And fairies...well they're simply descended from Irish folklore.

lol...this is fun!

Catherine said...

Oh...that quote is from
http://www.kimmelgnomes.com

Andrew said...

I have a gardening blog too. I would like to know if want to swap links. If you dont already know how it works here how. When you put a link to my blog on your blog, I will put a link to your blog on my blog.

chuck b. said...

Speaking of mythology, have you seen the Garden of Monsters in Bomarzo, Italy?