Whimsical Garden Art

Whimsical Garden Art


by Nina Evans



If you’re like me, once you get a few good plants placed in your garden, you can’t help but add some art to your space. Maybe your garden art is fun and kitschy, or perhaps you lean toward the high-end artistic works. Often a piece has a special story associated with it — where it comes from, a good memory or why it makes you laugh. Here at the White River Gardens, we have our share of whimsical garden art with a story to tell.


If you are here on a sunny day, stop by the Sunken Garden in the Polly Horton Hix Design Garden. Surrounded by herbs of all sorts is a sweet little butterfly sundial. It might not be absolutely on time, but its small inaccuracy is easily forgiven! Next door in the Raised Garden are colorful aluminum letters that spell out the word “GARDEN”. The former Zoo and Gardens signs were painted and upcycled into fun outdoor décor. Be sure to look up once you walk down the steps into the Allen W. Clowes Water Gardens. Perhaps you’ve heard the literary reference “tilting at windmills”? Well we have tilted windmills, called the Vining Mills, as the gateways to the Water Gardens!


All throughout the Gardens are hand-cast bronze creatures like spitting frogs, gleeful squirrels and even a heron doing the backstroke. The one that causes nearly everyone to chuckle is a trio of ducks. One shows himself to be a prankster as he gives his friend a little shove into a pond! But the Whimsy Garden holds the statues with the most engaging story. As you take the stone walk that divides that garden bed in two, notice the group of happily dancing tortoises on one side, and a tearful rabbit on the other. What’s the story, you ask? Think of the hare, a very close relative of the rabbit. This is the end of Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, the arrogant hare has lost the race and the steady tortoises are victorious!


Now you have the scoop on some of our charming and whimsical pieces of garden art. May they bring a smile to your face and make your next visit an amazing and fun experience!

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