The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

Col­lect­ing gar­den junk is a pas­time any­one would be happy with, that is if you’re not of the min­i­mal­ist kind. Form and tex­ture not only dic­tate the use of plants, they also have to do with the ‘props’ in a gar­den – big showy pots, a dec­o­ra­tive wa­ter fea­ture, a nicely placed gar­den seat painted bright red or a rus­tic old brick wall...

That worn-out com­ment of de­sign­ers, ‘to draw your eye’, has some mileage left where some­thing dis­tracts your cruis­ing vi­sion and in­ter­rupts what you are look­ing at.

This may be good or bad, as a nicely thought out or planned gar­den will pro­vide its own con­ti­nu­ity of vi­sion.

A rus­tic old wrought iron gate I saw in Mark Vowle’s gar­den at Fresh­wa­ter cer­tainly had a dis­trac­tive qual­ity. It just hap­pened to be there and had no ob­vi­ous pur­pose.

It was a relic of a gar­den de­mo­li­tion in Ar­gentina of all places.

Some­one had been do­ing gar­den tours look­ing for old bits and pieces, and filled a con­tainer with gar­den or­na­ments that had been chucked out from a sub­ur­ban de­vel­op­ment in Buenos Aires.

I though this was a ter­rific idea and scored a pair of old dou­ble wrought iron gates from a de­mo­li­tion in Draper St, think­ing ‘what a score’, only to find they were too rusted. They fell to bits be­fore I could use them. But there are plenty of nice quirky things to use as a back­drop.

Try coloured walls and rein­vent the trompe l’oeil tech­nique of a paint­ing on a wall or fence panel of a far­away land or seas­cape. Done well it can be a great art form.

I am still look­ing for the crass, quirky or just plain hideous to see how they may work in a gar­den – a hand­made con­crete pot or two from the 1950s, old terra cotta tiles and pots, park gar­den and bus seats, and even a good style of rub­bish bin.

All of­fers and sug­ges­tions will be con­sid­ered.

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