Monday, May 3, 2010

What were they thinking? (WWTT, Number 1)

Do you ever find yourself looking at a landscape and wondering “what were they thinking?”…you can see someone really put thought and consideration (as well as time and money) into what you’re looking at, but you just don’t get it. Really, what were they thinking?

I find myself wondering this at times. And I am confident others have looked at my garden and thought the same. I had a neighbor pull me aside a couple years after we’d torn out the sod in the front yard and put in plants and gravel to tell me that she finally “got it.” That during the first year she would look at it and wonder “why” but now, she got it.

Hell there were times I would stare at it and think “what was I thinking!”

I’ve decided to share with you a few of my favorite WWTT (What Were They Thinking) landscapes. These aren’t the sofa on the front porch, beer cans in the yard sorts of gardens. People actually worked on these creations, they willed them into being. If I were a braver blogger I would march right up to the front door and ask these folks myself “what were you thinking?” But instead I will share with you their creations and let you make up your own stories. Starting with this one…
This one is epic.

My made up story is that there are two different creators at work here. The first did the hard-scaping. The actual structure…And the second has added the accessories, they had no choice but to work with what they inherited. There is a water wheel, which sometimes works.

And they added…
The dolls. The dinos.And the plastic plants.
Or maybe not. Maybe it was all one big master plan. They must be having a hell of a time putting this together.


  1. I have seen this garden, driven past, pulled over, and backed up so that I could sit in my car and take it all in. It definitely has WOW factor. Perhaps not in the WOW kind of way most people use the term WOW factor. But I say the same thing you do: if they love doing it, more power to 'em. They're just wavin' their flag a little higher than others. Awesome.
    P.S. If only that rhodie in bloom back there was a bright garish hot pink, that would really help top it off.

  2. Hey, that's my garden (not) It could happen, this person may be a fan of your blog (not any more). I've thought about posting WWTT gardens from my neighborhood... I'm not brave enough.

  3. I'm guessing they aspire to create their own version of the Watts Towers. It is all pretty darn quirky! Too bad they are going for plastic plants...could be much more fun with real ones!

  4. I try to confine all my WWTT impulses to the backyard ;)

  5. The plastic plants just make it perfect! Lol!
    The house in this picture deserves an award for 'most eccentric'!

    I was thinking of this very subject on the weekend. I drove by a house whose front yard is covered in Inukshuks. Not one, not two but at least a hundred little ones. It's been multiplying for years, and it looks border line obsessive (but not in the good way) Then I started thinking about some of my 'what was I thinking?' moments. I have been mentally preparing a post on this. I've done some things in my front yard garden that I'm sure made a few neighbor's cane their neck and ask that age old question.

    I guess you just need to be able to learn from those moments, and keep plugging away.

  6. I love it! But do I want to live next door? I think not. I have always said that bad landsscaping is better than none at all.

  7. Well, that's like way too much, isn't it? I guess I'm too much a High Art kind of guy and some of these folk art examples look so gauche, he said snottily. But how can you not be carried away by the excess?

  8. AnonymousMay 03, 2010

    Loree~~ You dear sweet drive-by voyeur!! A girl after me-own heart! It's perfectly acceptable. No judgment, just part of our continuing education, right? I mean we can learn something from a pile of poop if we look at it with inquisitive eyes.

    Well, for WWTT Number 1, I'd have to say you picked a doozie! I think it might actually require an interview with the designer. [Is there a design?] Do you think a senior citizen created it for his grandkids? Those cinders are not easy on bare skin... Or maybe it's a replica of a faraway land of better times--a memorial. Or maybe some kind of shrine to an unknown god. It's the psychology that both baffles and intrigues me. In other words, what were they thinking??? :)

    More, please.

  9. Just like Jane, I thought of the Watts Towers. Only, not so colorful. Or good. Oh well! Yes, there must be a master planner at work here. And maybe inspired to make it fun or funny for a kid to look at? I dunno... it's a little busy. Well, as someone who worries about what the neighbors think but do my own bad-design thing anyway, I hope not to end up on anyone's blog in the WWTT section! :)

  10. How It Grows, you too!

    LeLo, I'm thinking I really do need to suck it up and go knock on their door. These are not your average folks...there is something mysterious at work here!

    linda, but really I wasn't meaning to say it's bad...just unusual! I think something like this is way cooler than a yard/garden that is ignored. They are out there making their vision come true! Which is why I think those neighborhood association rules suck and I could NEVER live somewhere like that.

    MulchMaid, brilliant! Why didn't I think of the Towers...exactly.

    Laura, ok I had to look up the word Inukshuk as I had no clue...100's huh? I think WWTT moments exist in all of us, at least those who are engaged with our gardens.

    Denise, smart. For some reason I seem to have switched it around.

    Les, perfect! least they care enough to do something!

    Pam, really!?

    James, well put.

    Grace, ha! I love all of your ideas.

    Karen, I had only viewed this creation from across the street or the car driving by until I decided to go be brave a photograph it. Up close there are so many more layers to discover...maybe you are right about a kid? I can see the ones I know totally loving it!

  11. Guess I'm just a kid, because I love it too. High kitsch always brings tears of joy to my eyes.

  12. So, I would never build anything like that myself, but I think it is pretty awesome. Tons of personality. Not my personality, thank goodness, but also thank goodness that such a personality does exist. And, now that I think of it I can picture myself making something crazy like this when I someday become a crazy old former landscaper.
    Wouldn't be hard to describe which is your house...

  13. I'm sorry I was just being sarky...

  14. ricki, and there's nothing wrong with that!

    ryan, "thank goodness that such a personality does exist"...exactly. I wonder what the inside of their house is like?

    linda, and that's why I like you! Sarky (snarky?) is a very desirable quality in ones friends and blog readers.

  15. I had to keep myself from LOLing when I scrolled to the dinosaur picture. The T-rex is just so excited :)

  16. I love it!!!! It would be much cooler if it was full of succulents.

  17. AnonymousMay 07, 2010

    Thanks so much for this. I laughed! I love kitchy, personalized abodes and gardens. And like one of the commenters, I tend to keep my dolls, dinosaurs, toys, etc confined to inside my house and the back yard...(passing highschoolers would surely mess with my stuff if I put it out front.) Keep up the good scouting work.

  18. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    That place is awesome! Matti

  19. Maybe it was inspired by the Postman Cheval?

  20. I really like it. How much? If I bought a house with it, I would keep it as is.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!