Columns

Gardener's Grapevine 2016.03.02

BY JO ERBSKORN

Wow! Thank you Mother Nature for the crazy weather and it looks like round two is coming this week.

We went to Kalamazoo for Art’s birthday this past weekend and went to an Artists Garage Sale. Artists from all over came to sell their last season’s goods to make way for their newest art. There was every type of artist you can imagine using every type of media imaginable.

I love all kinds of art including the Art I’m married to, but the garden art was really interesting. It’s really cool to see an artist’s ideas for cast-offs turned into something that can withstand weather, draw attention and enhance the garden you’ve worked so hard on.

Garden art is a very lucrative art form as far as making money. It practically sells itself. Found objects appear to be a huge pull for both artists and buyers in many areas. One lady had taken old T-shirts and cut them up and pieced the good parts to other shirts good parts. They were very popular and more expensive than a new shirt. There was a Thomas the Tank engine shirt for a child made with the logos and pictures and words from other Thomas shirts.

There were hair clips made with found objects such as old watch parts, keys, rhinestone jewelry pieces and other found objects usually destined for the trash. 

There were rugs fashioned from every type of fiber ever invented. I could go on and on, but my point in all this is that the artist that uses found objects is actually helping all the gardeners, farmers and conservationists by keeping these objects out of the landfills and finding a useful purpose for them. A lot of the garden art we saw used old scrap iron, some quite large, to make sculptures and bases for sculptures. Everything from truck and tractor parts to old die molds was used, and some of this was even made into furniture.

Saving our environment from more unwanted junk keeps down greenhouse gas emissions, prevents landfills where nothing can be farmed so we get another mountain to use as a ski slope, uses less energy to haul it away and bury it as trash. People don’t stop and think about the gases escaping from our landfills and the impact it has on our world and weather.

“Global warming” is an often overused phrase, however, it is very serious. Greenhouse gas emissions coming from garbage dumps are changing not only the land and its use, but potentially contribute for these crazy weather swings we are having. Granted, it’s scientific theory, but what if it’s spot on? Below freezing with ice one day, snow the next and 50-plus degrees two days later—does that sound like a normal February weather pattern?

So I will pay to go to art shows and buy products produced from things destined for landfills, use them in my everyday life and home. In this way I’m helping in a small way to save our environment for my grandsons to be able to enjoy. That is my hope anyway. Think about what you use, what you do with the “garbage" and how you can recycle and reuse. We may not stop global warming, but it's better than doing nothing.