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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Garden Bloggers Fling Visit to Annie's Annuals Part One; Going to the Chapel.

For those of you who didn't attend the recent garden bloggers' fling and who are following my series of posts about it, we now find ourselves still in day one of the adventure.  It's a beautiful sunny morning, we've just visited a couple of incredible gardens and we're now visiting Annie's Annuals and Perennials in Richmond, CA. (one of the fling sponsors) where we'll have a nice catered lunch and listen to an informative presentation done by a representative of the Dramm Corporation,  a  major sponsor of the event. Thanks again to all of the sponsors for keeping costs down for participants allowing a larger number of folks to attend not to mention all the cool items donated!  Like many gardeners,  I've ordered from Annie's catalog and online for years and was looking forward to seeing this fabled place in person. (BTW, if you don't get Annie's catalog, and enjoy gardening, make sure you click on the link above and rectify the situation.  Since Annie's carries a lot of rare and unusual annuals that will grow in nearly every zone, there is sure to be much in her catalog that you can't live without!)

Perhaps you already know that I love yard art, tasteful to tacky,  it all brings me pleasure.  I should say that  clean architectural lines, beautifully placed pots, limited color etc. to be an equally  stimulating artistic statement.   The Dramm presentation (I think it should have been titled, "It's one Dramm thing after another.")  took place took place beneath the shade of  an event tent(whew, it was a sunny and hot day!)  Dramm's new line of brightly colored and well made irrigation tools were a delight to see but my attention wandered during the presentation to a chapel in the background.


 
 
The work  by California mosaic artist Tina Amidon, is titled "Allegorical Reliquary-Mosaic Chapel Fountain" and is a visual delight through which to walk.   I love symbolism  and tried to figure out what was being said here.


I wonder if the round or rose window at the top of this end panel with it's space ship and moon is an intentional homage to the space window at the National Cathedral?

The inclusion of entire three dimensional objects like these tea pots in this large-scale mosaic  fascinated me!


The rose window at the other end. 


Here's a video of the artist explaining her work.  It's interesting to hear her explanation after reading my own interpretation into her opus and also to see water pouring over one of the side walls.  You can see the receptacle at the base of this wall.  I wonder if it's still functional?





Not that this needs water.  It's quite interesting just the way it is. 





The chapel is for sale in case you were wondering.  I didn't see a price but I bet that the friendly folks at Annie's would be more than happy to tell you.  You may find yourself




Could you see this  chapel in your garden?  I think I have a place where it might work very well.  How much do you suppose it would cost to ship a few tons of concrete nearly a thousand miles?  Fear not, it may be heavy but not as heavy as one might think.  From Ms. Amidon's website, we learn that it's "made of mosaic and stucco on polymer-fortified concrete, fiberglass mesh, and polystyrene foam armature.  Hmmm.


 Do you remember the UNCF slogan, "They're not looking for a hand out, just a hand?"  
 
 
 Are you a fan of mosaic work?  Stepping stones, mosaic pots, or other objects?










 
 
  Unfortunately, the paint is crackling off the red bottles taking away their original vibrancy. 
 
What are your thoughts about this chapel?  Does your garden need it?  Do you think it might be interesting  but only in someone else's garden or do you dislike it altogether?


42 comments:

  1. How inspiring! I was reading an article on mosaic stepping stones but this takes it to a whole new level!

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    1. It would be a fun project to undertake some year.

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  2. I loved the chapel with all its three-dimensional bits and pieces and I love your post about it. I bet you could make your own.

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    1. In looking at the artist's site and seeing how she uses the polystyrene foam armature, it looks like it might just be doable!

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  3. I would love it in your garden.

    Can you believe i didn't even notice it? Gawd I can be oblivious sometimes.

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    1. With all the plants there, it would be easy to miss the chapel! It was kind of in a corner.

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  4. I have room! Next trip to big box, need to price concrete board. There's a ten year's collection of ceramic junk in my shed to make at least a wall. Interesting that this is just planes of tessarae and the entire thing is not covered.

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    1. I had the same reaction and liked the look of the outside of the chapel with concrete only but I would be tempted to cover the entire inside surface.

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  5. This reminds me a little bit of the Watts Towers, which I wrote about here: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/799
    The towers were the result of one man's obsessive compulsion, and as such have great emotional impact, at least for me.

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    1. Wow Ricki! Thanks for the link! The Watts Towers are amazing, sad, inspiring all at once!

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  6. I'd definitely like this in someone else's garden but it's really cool.

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    1. It would need the right setting with enough negative space around it to make it work in a space. If I ever had space enough to grow all the plants I'd like to grow an still have an area left over, this would be on my list!

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  7. I saw this in the background at Annie's, but I gotta say it didn't make anywhere near the impression on me that it did on you. Just imagine it with a glass roof: you could use it for a greenhouse, Peter!

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  8. I happen to love mosaic work. Ever since park guell in Barcelona I've wanted a giant mosaic lizard fountain!!

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  9. A very interesting piece. I agree with Loree, it would look great in your garden. I'm afraid it would be very out of place in mine

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    1. It's size was impressive but also makes it too big for my space unless I cut down a tree and get rid of a bed or two.

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  10. My favorite parts of this were where the mosaic pieces were arranged closely. I prefer that arrangement to the more strung out parts. Probably would prefer smaller pieces in my own yard but am always fascinated by unique pieces like this.

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    1. It's kind of like visiting a huge estate garden in that you can be inspired by ideas and parts of the whole to apply to your own garden/mosaic making.

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  11. lol, I KNEW the DixieCups would be featured performers upon reading the title of this post. I have your number.

    I think this chapel has been at Annies for a couple of years , but I am always so distracted by the plants I have never taken the time to explore it in depth. I'm so glad you shared these photos--I'll spend some time in the chapel on my next visit.

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    1. It doesn't take long as I'm quite predictable.

      Glad you liked the chapel. I went there to calm myself down from the excitement of all the plants that I couldn't fit in my suitcase. We'll definitely plan to drive to California next time we visit!

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  12. I like yard art, and I like mosaics and I like this chapel, but I don't see it fitting into my garden.

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    1. It does take up lots of space that could be used for plants. Maybe if our garage burned down...

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  13. I'm a horrible person...I don't think I even noticed that structure...I was blinded by plants, I guess ;-)

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    1. Well, yes but that's one of the many reasons I like you.

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  14. Wow. Almost like the Notre Dame! Honestly, I like that "cathedral". But That tea pot is so beautiful that I couldn't have stuck it on the wall. I feel sorry for the lovely pot!

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    1. There were many pieces in the walls that I thought were too beautiful to meet such a fate. Oh well...

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  15. Raising hand to be included in the group that barely noticed the chapel--I went straight to the plant tables! Thanks for the link to the artist to check out, Peter.

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    1. The excitement of the plants at Annie's was pretty overwhelming. I could have spent far longer there!

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  16. I'm getting more and more interested in garden art. I love this chapel and could easily see something like this in my garden (on a smaller scale.) I'm especially attracted to structures that allow the sunlight to travel through coloured glass. Thanks for the chapel tour :)

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    1. My interest in garden art ebbs and flows but I always love sunlight traveling through colored glass! Thanks for joining me in the chapel! Maybe I should have posted this on a Sunday.

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  17. Your post is very creative, thought-provoking. I got a flash reading the part about the wall with water running down it and pictured a wall that would interact with rain, spinning stuff, pouring into pots and out spouts, waterfalls, etc. It could be combined with mosaics, and make a rainy day more interesting. I remember another garden tour with some really cool mosaics.

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    1. I like your idea of a kinetic piece moved by rain. It would be perfect for the pacific northwest! Placement by a window would be a good idea so that it could be appreciated from a dry vantage point.

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  18. This was at Annie's when we all were there? Was it visible only to those who possess true faith? I am kicking myself in the tush for missing this. I do like mosaics, and this one is so fascinating - I love it!

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    1. Yes it was there. I could see it from my seat near the back audience right hand side at the Dramm Presentation so went directly there after we heard the talk. I was a random mess checking out the plants though and instead of doing an orderly walk through the grid of aisles, I kept skipping from one plant to another that grabbed my interest. I'm so ready to move to California - If only I could afford it.

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  19. The mosaic of coloured percelain is reminiscent of Antonio Gaudi
    's Park Guel. Its interesting and beautiful.

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    1. I'm a huge fan of Gaudi's work! What a nice comparison.

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  20. I saw it, but didn't pay that much attention. The grey concrete color was dreary compared to the plants and flowers dancing around in the breeze. You got some great photos--it looks better in your post than it did in person.

    "It's one Dramm thing after another." Hah! That's a good one!

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    1. Thanks. The pictures would have been much better without that bright shiny thing in the sky but it was a great day to be outside looking at plants!

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  21. Some of those pieces remind us of Gaudi's work!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.