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Creative Gardens: Recycling and Artwork Bloom Here Too

Denise Tempest has created pop in her garden with recycled elements and original artwork.

Unique details are an important part of a growing garden -- they give the gardener the ability to personalize the space, and really make it his or her own. For gardener Denise Tempest, recycled items and personal artwork are a crucial element in her expansive garden, and help to distinguish the space. With two gardens on one property, one started 12 years ago, and the other six years ago, Tempest has been filling her spaces with structural and decorative objects among the blooms the whole time.

Among popular plants such as irises, cone flowers, and bee
balm, reside recycled elements that utilize former structures on Tempest’s property. Originally the space held a large in-ground swimming pool. Tempest has converted this into a pond complete with goldfish and water plants such as water lilies. Tempest loves “the sound of water, so it was important to include several water features as I planned my garden.”

The materials from the pool have been recycled to create
items such as hypertufa, flower pots made from the pool’s concrete and peat moss. Currently, sedum resides in these pots. In the herb garden, Tempest has used recycled framework from a sliding glass door to elevate and accent the garden. Off to the side of a walkway, a recycled panel from an old gazebo has been nestled among the flowers, complete with blue bottles.

Tempest is also a working artist, and she uses her skills to
add flair to the garden. At the pond, Tempest has transformed a gourd into a snake sculpture with paint and clever placement, making it a “gourder snake.” Additionally, much of the furniture around the garden has been transformed through the art form of mosaic, where tiny pieces of glass are combined to create an image. Tempest says that adding these elements to her garden is “another way to tap into my need to create.”

Whatever project Tempest embarks on next will certainly fit
into her beautiful garden. Her original art and her plant choices work together seamlessly to create a distinctly personalized experience.

Editor's Note: Creative Gardens will be an ongoing focus of the Emmaus Patch this summer, as we explore, through photography, both the private and public gardening activities that make Emmaus such a lovely place to spend the summer months.

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