Friday, September 18, 2009

The Late Show Gardens - A review.

The first annual Late Show Gardens opened to the public on a very hot and sunny Friday September 18, 2009 in Sonoma CA.

This new garden show is site specific to the arid Northern California Mediterranean climate .
It address the dry summer climate, the dwindling water resources and makes the case for incorporating sustainable gardening practices in our home and community gardens.

As you enter into the Cornerstone complex the first exhibition garden by Gary Rattway and Mike Lucas emphasizes regeneration in the face of our past history of pollution.
Massive rusted old oil tanks are used as monolithic rocks hosting a textural tapestry of grasses which bio- remediates contaminated soils.
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Once inside the garden complex you are welcomed by some very tall and reedy plant sculptures.
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Suzanne Biaggi and Patrick Picards display garden called Flow and Accumulation was a delight to the eye and the conscience.
They used permaculture buliding techniques throughout the garden.
From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

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Running down the length of the table was a runnel of water
From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

One of the more exciting sculptures was The Grow Melt Project.
An ice sculpture by Peter Good, Liz Einwiller, Adam Greenspan , Sarah Kuelh and David Fong.
It was about 98 degrees F. today and I fear that this sculpture is not going to make it though the end of today, Friday.
From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

It was stated that this sculpture was intended to be a moving metaphor for the processes that affect our world.
To me it said Global Warming.
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Shirley Watts never fails to inspire . She is one of those inward - outward designers . One who contemplates deeply inwardly and then can make a visual statement outwardly seamlessly and beautifully
Her design, A Garden of Mouthings captures your attention.
Here she is bringing the story of our hard working honey bees to the gardener though music , poetry and structure.
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Monica Viarengo “Black Soul” Garden was extremely dramatic.
As you wandered down into a deep cut in the earth you were flanked on either side by towering black soil volcanoes and moody dark plantings.
This garden represents her feelings toward climate change.
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At the bottom of the gulch there was a message , surrounded by white marble chips and a small dark square of water. “ Be the change you want to see”
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Something to think about , wouldn’t you say ?

I’m one who usually gets metaphors. After years and years of art school you start to get it. But I didn’t get Beth Mullins “Over Growth” metaphor.
I appreciated the juxtapositioning of all the disparate elements but over all it was lost on me.
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Well, It’s hitting the 100 degree mark here in my neck of the woods so I will leave you with a few more images before I take in a cool wet shower.

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

Oh , and one last note.
The speakers were FANTASTIC !
Below is a shot of the fabulous Jeffrey Bale Mosaic Artist.
His slide show and talk was wonderful !

From New Album 9/12/09 6:38 PM

Now for a refreshing cold shower.

If you plan on visiting the show on Saturday or Sunday please bring a hat, lots of water and some sensible shoes.

The organizes have placed water coolers around the grounds , but do keep hydrated.
We are in for some very hot sunny weather this weekend.

Enjoy !


How It Grows said...

Thanks for the tour! I wish I could see it in person.

Susan aka Miss R said...

Thanks for the tour Michelle. I know what you mean about metaphors. I really liked the 'glacial' ice wall--it looked surprisingly appropriate I also like the rill table. I'm sure the three dimensionality of some of the other gardens, their details and being in them is what makes the experience. Am looking forward to seeing it in February.

Kerry said...

Thank you so much for the tour Michelle. I had so wanted to go to this but no longer reside in the bay area. It's wonderful to be able to read your blog and see the great photos you take.

Bay Area Tendrils said...

I had hoped to meet you at the Show, and I'm kicking myself now for not asking around in order to locate you. I did approach people here and there, when I thought I sensed it might be you. Silly.....
Another time? Alice

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Thanks to all who posted their comments and enjoyed the brief tour.
Please do check out the blogs Dirt du Jour and Bay Area Tendrils for some great photography and more review.

Sorry that we missed one another.
It was like old home week for me at the show.
Every other step that I took I ended up bumping into someone that I knew.
It was a delightful day.
If by chance you saw a woman walking around with a hat festooned with Tillandsias that would have been me.
Looking forward to another chance encounter.

I'll be joining the AIA garden tour next week that views 2 of Shirley Watts gardens, 2 of the unconvivial gardens of Cevan Forrisstt and ends up with a luncheon at Topher Delaney's atelier.
Maybe a chance to meet then.


rebecca Sweet said...

I love your photos and commentary, Michelle. I read yours after I wrote my own blog, and find it funny (and a bit comforting) that you and I both didn't quite 'get' Over Growth's concept (thought loved the images). How wonderful that you got to participate in not only the set up but also the break-down of this event. Next year we must meet over the wonderful boxed-lunch, along with Alice Joyce!

danger garden said...

Thanks for the tour and the commentarty. Oh and the mental picture of you walking around with a hat festooned with Tillandsias! Perhaps a picture of this would be a nice follow up? Stay cool...

Christine said...

Looks like we were into the same gardens! I went on Sunday, but the Grow Melt garden was still one of my favorites even with no ice in sight. I think it was the ridiculousness of cacti growing in a pond and used as an architectural element.

Avert Farm said...

i was there on friday too. hot, hot, hot. good lord. i enjoyed most of the gardens. it was nice to see shirley breaking away from her often seen color pallets. the honey tones were very nice. beth mullins is awesome, but this design looked rushed, or something.

i had a real problem with the stark contrast of the theme of the show and the blatant waste of water in many of the display gardens. water dripping all day off a hot tin roof? melting ice block art (waste of water...even if incredibly beautiful), and misters misting tillandsias lashed to poles in the full sun?? yikes. not sure how long those will last. water waste as garden art?

loved the plant venders. best of the best. martin granthum(sp?) is a genius. spent money with pleasure.

thanks. my rant/review is now over. take care. i enjoy your blog.