Garden art.

A beautiful garden appeals to all the senses, and doesn’t ignore the imagination. I’m no master gardener (far from it), but, if I do say so myself, I’m quite skilled at garden admiration.

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge of Textures, I chose photos of an unusual floral peafowl located at Glenhyrst Gardens in Brantford, Ontario.

August 4 (4 of 7)

I’d gushed about the building on site earlier this spring, but many of the garden beds were only emerging at that time. The annuals have now filled out, providing a feast for the eyes, but also an invitation to bend down and brush a hand over the blooms. This artful sculpture alone has several textures covered: spiky sedum, velvety foliage, silky petals and a coarse bed of mulch.

I tried to capture the graceful lines and patterns of this planting – I only wish I’d been able to make a photo from a greater height to really highlight the spread of this bird’s “feathers.”

What’s an appropriate amount of time to spend with a bird made of flowers? Whatever it is, I think I exceeded it. But floral birds were made for admiration.

And I’m really good at that.

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Look on the bright side.

The other day, I went out of town to shop for shoes.

The bad news is that my retail outing was a fail. This isn’t really surprising, since I avoid shopping unless I need to (The Mr. is, surely, relieved about this). When I enter a store that carries a wide selection of my intended purchase, I get excited at first…but the excitement inevitably dwindles as I start to struggle with making a choice. After agonizing for an absurd amount of time – enough that the salespeople begin to eye me suspiciously – I’m nearly paralyzed with indecision, so I just give up and leave empty-handed. That’s why I only shop alone, in order to spare my friends the frustration. Trust me, you don’t want to be there when I have to choose a paint chip from the hardware store.

But never mind. The good news is that, instead, I brought home some photos to add to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors weekly feature.

The Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant is located on sixteen acres of landscaped grounds near the Grand River in Brantford, Ontario. I stopped by on my way back from my unsuccessful shoe-shopping excursion. I’d spent so much time in the shoe store that by the time I got to the gardens, the sun was nearly straight overhead and the light was pretty harsh. Alas, such is the cost of my poor decision-making skills.

June 1 (4 of 7)

Okay, so in these photos the door looks a bit prison-like, but I promise – in real life it’s actually quite appealing.

June 1 (1 of 7)

The property was purchased in 1914 by Edmund Cockshutt, of a prominent local industrial family, who bequeathed his home and gardens to the City of Brantford in 1956 with the intention that they be utilized as spaces for artistic and cultural activities.

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Mr. Cockshutt had taken great personal interest in horticulture and landscaping, and this was reflected in the gardens around his home. He shared his love of the space by making the grounds accessible to the public so everyone could enjoy them.

The main house is now an art gallery, hosting a variety of exhibitions, workshops and events.

June 1 (6 of 7)

The door below leads to The Golden Teapot, a fancy tearoom within the main house.

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I also made some shots of the grounds, which are home to a few lovely art installations, but I’ll save those for another post. Or perhaps I’ll return to Glenhyrst for more photos on another morning, once the annuals have filled in, the light is just a little bit softer, and I’ve gathered up the courage to tackle the shoe store again.

I thank you for looking. 🙂