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 13, 2012

A road less traveled; The garden of Mike Adcock

From a moving vehicle, this might look like a typical northwest yard with its lovely evergreens and tidy shrubbery.  Wait!  is that bamboo?  Yup, those nice little mounds of green are bamboo as are the taller plantings behind.

As you turn the corner, palms become visible, and you might notice the cool rusty metal railing on the ground and the beautiful sumac.  This place might be more than what first meets the eye!

Behind this Clark Kent Exterior lies a Superman of a garden!

Stepping inside, we see creative recycling of materials everywhere.
There is so  much to see in this fabulous garden.  Notice the trachycarpus fortunei fruit cluster on the right.
Throughout the garden there are wonderful assemblages incorporating plants.

Like these slumped glass, wire and bead pieces hanging from the limbs of a tree.

And this bowling ball and rock wall.  Notice the mondo grass on the left and the fading leaves of a cyclamen in the upper right.  Soleirolia soleirolii a.k.a. baby tears, angel tears and mind-your-own- business seen at the bottom of the wall wanders throught the garden and gives a feeling of continuity.

O.K. so you noticed the skull a couple of pictures back.
There are more.
An artist friend of mine once said that he loved hearing how others interpreted his work.  Sometimes, what the viewer reads is far different from what the artist was thinking.  I'm not sure what Mike was thinking with these but they remind me of the bones that one sees beneath the floors of European Cathedrals.  They speak to me of the earth's cycle of life, death, renewal; the dead creating  fecundity for the living and remind me of a line from one of my favorite hymns:  "...and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won."  For me, this whole space speaks that feeling of connectedness.

These windchimes are HEAVY and make a really cool sound.

Looking up

Along the path which is covered in a gravel/glass mixture.

Much of the garden is made up of free-standing raised beds which invite exploration and make the small space seem quite large.

No garden is complete without ros...lilie...the front of a motorcycle coming throught the fence.  Folly or memorial?

Another section of the fence.

We wend our way to a seating area.

A broken column; discard from a statuary place? Symbol of a life cut short?  Both?
I love that this garden makes you think and feel.

Glass tile pavers which I admire everytime I visit and vow to make for my own garden.

New since last time I visited.  Love the white ironwork!

And the rusty metal railing.

There are memorial areas throughout the garden, some more obvious than others, which gives the whole the feeling of sacred space.

More cool re-use!

This is like the buddha that I hope to have in my own garden, perhaps even by the time you read this.

As I wave good bye to this unique garden, I'm filled with peace and ideas for many of the items piled up in my garage.

Glad you came along!  Did you get any ideas?   


  1. Wait, I thought the Buddha was going to be for your birthday...which isn't for another 2 months!? Cheater!

    (there certainly is a lot of personality packed into that small space!)

    1. Yup, cheating. I convinced Tom that getting my present earlier would allow me to enjoy it all summer while I have time to actually be in the garden instead of waiting until I start working seven days a week again. I'm so lucky he bought that; we'll be getting it tomorrow. Speaking of cheating, through no fault of her own of course, I believe that someone has a lovely red circle planter hanging in her garden. I'm too discrete to mention any names, that would be DANGERous!

  2. That is incredible!!!! It reminds me of Indiana Jones!!! I could go on an adventure in that yard!!! I loove all the palms and bamboozlement.

    1. Glad you liked it! It's a fun garden to visit!

  3. What a cool garden! I love all the repurposed stuff, that is my favorite kind of garden art. The broken column really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing this garden with us.

    1. It's a lot of fun to share great garden experiences! But then, you know that from having done your wonderful blog for so long now!

  4. That is so cool. I like the bowling ball wall with the plants interspesed. Are the skulls real? -- Bom

  5. Hey, Mike, This is Jeff (& Phil), We hung out a couple times and you & Seth did some work on our land at 3613. Anyway, we are now in San Diego and the house is being rented. I have a guy who is FINALLY going to rip out that horrid fence out front. I hoping you will be able to add some curb appeal once it is all ripped out--creative, but non over done. My cell is 808-295-9781. I tried to call the number I had for you, but it just keeps ringing.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I'll try to get your number to Mike for you. Doubt if he looks at this page anymore.



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