Oct 16th, 2014

Guerrilla Garden Art — Ephemeral Art, Enjoy it While You Can

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

ephemeral art

Senior Horticulturist Elizabeth Fogel’s fairy art including elephant’s ear, zinnia & crepe myrtle in Grace Arents Garden.

Have you noticed “fairy art” around the Garden recently? We’re feeling a bit whimsical and inspired by our blooms these days.

Director of Horticulture Grace Chapman explains, “A few months ago, I challenged the staff to ‘play’ in their gardens. I wanted them to have the freedom to create little art pieces that would last a day or two using materials from their gardens. We weren’t going to tell anyone when we were doing these or where they would be located, it was just a fun thing that visitors could discover. When I worked at Temple University, I often found little art pieces that the students left for us. Those were the inspiration for this staff project.”

Senior Horticulturist, Elizabeth Fogel says, “The one I did last week was inspired by the fact that I was getting ready to rip the plants out for the fall!”

This “bedding change-out” is something we do twice a year, in fall when we compost the summer annuals and plant fall bulbs, and at the end of spring, when we clear out spent bulbs to plant summer annuals.

Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) pods on the stump of an Ash tree

Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) pods on the stump of an Ash tree at Ambler Arboretum at Temple University. Photo by Grace Chapman.

“The one I made last week was inspired by the fact that I was getting ready to pull the annuals out for the fall. I had been looking at the elephant ears and thinking that they would make a nice backdrop/container for making a little arrangement.  I love the idea of visitors discovering them and imaging that a garden fairy (or some other form of magic) made them.  It’s a fun way to try different plant and color combinations and a quick way to add a little more creativity into my day.”

I love how these projects recycle items that would otherwise go straight to the compost pile. We hope that they inspire you to make something beautiful in your world.

Please remember that the ephemeral art at the Garden is a staff project. At Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden we have a no collecting policy for plant material in the Garden, including picking flowers.

 

Jonah Holland is PR & Marketing Coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, specializing in social media. She's been known to go for a walk, and come back completely inspired to write a blog post on her newest found adventure.

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