Faces Redux

march-4-2009-057-2Cosmic forces beyond our control have paved the way for presentation of a previously posted story, Faces In The Garden. Originally published January 11, 2008, purists may click here to read it without addendum, and also read the original comments.

Faces In The Garden

Another collection prized at Faire Garden is the sculptures bearing a likeness of the human face.
Some were made by the gardener herself, like Mrs. Bongo Congo above, crafted from leftover trough cement mix.
As was her spouse, Mr. Bongo Congo himself, made with leftover leaf casting mix. He is supposed to be a fountain, but there is still much work to be done on that.
Some of the faces were purchases, like this guy looking at the squirrel hind quarters entering his stump.
To be left out in the elements, these ornaments need to be made of concrete.
It is always amazing that this head can stay out all year in the birdbath, even when the water freezes without damage.

Some of the faces were gifts, in fact most of the ones under the deck were given by friends and family.
I really like the ‘Green Man’ image and all the lore that surrounds it.
At one time all the faces were outside unprotected.

The elements did damage in different ways. There was fading of color and dissolving into dust. A rustic twig frame was built to hold the smaller ones and mounted under the garage deck for protection.

These two , above and below are from the same artist in Pennsylvania, thanks Lynn.

When you arrive at Faire Garden, this happy fellow greets you at the front door.
The newest addition, mounted on a stake. Under the front porch roof, he is free to be himself without fear from sun, rain, or frost. Thanks, semi.
This chap has a frog in his ear. He was purchased at a grocery in Canada.
A cat gargoyle type character, the first of the collection, was purchased at an art store in Berkeley, CA.

‘Leaf Man’ , ancient symbol of being at one with Nature, Life and the Earth.
May we all be at one with leaf man and his friends.

march-4-2009-058-2Epilogue: Since this post was written, there has been an addition to the faces here, little Whimsy Bongo Congo. Click here to read about the day of her birth.

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45 Responses to Faces Redux

  1. No offense, but that is one thing I find in gardens that creeps me out… faces. I don’t know why. So, if we are ever shopping together at a garden center in a city like Chicago, you can buy all the stuff with faces on it. I get to buy the giant rabbit statues… sound like a deal?

    HA Carol, you were the inspiration for this post. Annie mentioned your dislike of faces in a comment on the Thirsty Throngs post about the waxwings! I remembered this old post and thought it could use a revisiting. Honestly, I can’t wait to be shopping with you in Chicago! We will clean the place out, you with the rabbits and me with the faces! We can ship the purchases home too, or I can since you will probably have your car, lucky!

  2. tina says:

    Yup, I remember this post and the one that took place sometime around summer solstice when there was some mischief at Faire Garden. I knew right away your guy on the front porch was a new addition. A big guy too! It is great they can stay outside all year, especially that one in the birdbath. I think you are most talented to make that face so well.

    Hi Tina, thanks. You know I didn’t make the one in the birdbath, right? That is way beyond me. I made the Bongo Congo family is all. The ones under the deck cannot be out in the weather. They were in a screened porch in my other TN house, and were able to be on the garage wall in Texas, but started crumbling when I had them on the fence here. No one notices them under the deck but at least they are safe. Those concrete ones are the best and get that patina from the birds sitting on them. πŸ™‚

  3. Daphne Gould says:

    Wow so many. I like that you created some of them yourself. The only face I have for the garden is a carving of Lono (god of agriculture) that I got when I was in Hawaii. I got him to put out in the garden, but I’ve been afraid to do it since he is wood. Time and the ants would eat him.

    Hi Daphne, thanks. I know, I go overboard sometimes. I still am attracted to anything with a face on it while browsing art or garden shops. The more rustic the better, especially that green leaf man face, it is my favorite. Your Lono sounds cool, but I would be afraid to put him outside too. Hope he has a place of pride inside your home. πŸ™‚ Thanks for telling us about the Sunflower Project.

  4. gittan says:

    Wow! So many faces you have in your garden. i liked that you’ve made some of them yourself. In my garden there are no such thinks since we dont like statues and stuff in the garden. But after starting to read bloggs and found LindaLundas blogg I’ve began to think different about those things. Who could resist any of Lindas dragons or a castle in the yard / gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks. I think Linda’s art is just magnificent and would love to have something of hers in my garden, but the shipping charges are prohibitive. You should get something though. I love the castles and the dragons and everything of hers!

  5. Barbara says:

    I love that you were able to make something wonderful with the left over cement. And I also love the rustic twig frame for displaying them. For some reason your new posting were not arriving so it was a happy surprise to find several there this morning.

    Hi Barbara, thanks. That is the cosmic issue I have been having. The computer and/or internet were giving me fits yesterday. It seems better today, hope that the problems are over, although Blotanical is still down. So glad the posts made it to your computer! πŸ™‚

  6. Gail says:

    Frances, Your header with Cedar Waxwings is wonderful! What a terrific capture. They have great faces, too. I have always loved the faces in your garden…like Tina I remember this post and the creation of Little Whimsy. There are only two faces in my garden, my favorite is the rock face on the inuksuk Mr I made for the garden. The day looks promising for warm weather! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. You know the size issue of the photos for my header, the picture has to have the subject in an odd straight line. I have been outside and had to come in with frostbite on my fingers. Of course the sun was not up yet, do you think I am rushing it? πŸ™‚ Hope your workers can get started today.

  7. Randy says:

    Jamie and I were just talking about this last night. I remember the other post too. Why do you think faces and heads are so popular in the garden? There has to be a reason that they seem to be a common element.

    Hi Randy, thanks for stopping by. I have a book about the Green Man and how it has been present in all cultures since the beginning of man. He is the guardian of the gardens, or crops or the earth. Sort of the husband to Mother Nature maybe. πŸ™‚ In the UK are some very old statuary forms in ancient gardens, I hope to see them one day.

  8. Dave says:

    I didn’t realize you had so many faces! I like the greenman faces too. I wouldn’t mind putting up one like that on our big tulip poplar tree. Kind of like a watchful guardian over the garden.

    Hi Dave, yes, it is a bit excessive, or is that obsessive! HA I think of them as guardians too, not something creepy, like some people. πŸ™‚ Your girls would love a green man, I’m sure. Maybe they could help select him. They are often found in nurseries. Make sure it is of a material that can withstand our crazy weather!

  9. Darla says:

    Your gardens all full of pure character! I love it. I tend to like the weathered look too.

    Hi Darla, thanks. Concrete ages really well here, I love that look, even on old sidewalks and steps that are nothing fancy.

  10. Let’s face it, you know a lot of faces.

    Hi Helen, it’s true. I could say I never met a face I didn’t like, but there are some that don’t appeal. But not many. πŸ™‚

  11. Rose says:

    Since I didn’t see this post the first time around, I appreciated all the background on your many faces. I’ve seen Mr. and Mrs. Bongo many times, of course, but there are some new ones here I’ve never seen. I love the one of the wind god or whoever blowing the wind. No wonder you have such a beautiful garden–you have so many eyes watching over it!

    Hi Rose, thanks. The first couple of months when I began blogging, posting every day had very few readers, although some are still around and I do appreciate you guys. I am happy you liked seeing the faces, not everyone does. πŸ™‚ The wind god is cool, not one you see very often. They all guard the garden.

  12. Marnie says:

    Hi Frances, obviously these creatures are bringing good luck to your garden. Maybe I need to add a few to mine;)

    I have to wonder what the lovely Mrs Bongo Congo saw that attracted her to her husband. He must have a wonderful personality.

    Hi Marnie, thanks. I do think they bring luck and are watching over for us. HA about Mr. Bongo Congo. I was inspired by a photo in a book my Lewis and Little of a tribal mask. That is the vibe with him. He is the strong silent type that she found intriguing. They did meet in the garden and share that love of nature, a very romantic notion.

  13. easygardener says:

    You have a fine collection there. I like stuff like that in the garden though I have never got round to settling on a theme for mine (nor creating any for that matter!)
    The cat gargoyle is strangely fascinating if rather sadomasochistic (lol)

    Hi EG, thanks. There really is no theme here. I initially had them in the house, then on a screened porch, then outside after I got a couple of cement ones. Finding places for them is fun. I do love that cat, he is a superhero gargoyle!

  14. Jean says:

    I especially like the man in the bird bath. But if I were a bird, I’m not sure I could relax and bathe around him! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Jean, thanks. The birds love to sit on his head and do their business. HA No respect!

  15. I don’t mind the faces in your garden Frances. I am sure they are great friends.

    Hi Lisa, that’s good. They are my buddies, especially the Bongo Congo family, since I made them, but I love them all. And might find another in Chicago!

  16. Catherine says:

    Very nice. I like the ones you made, you are sure multi-talented. I think it’s great to have a collection, and I like how you’ve displayed them under your deck.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. I had them all on the fence and in a year they were starting to deteriorate, especially the resin ones. I kind of repainted them and put them under there to keep dry. No one sees them though. The concrete ones are best to be out and about. I love seeing them all though.

  17. Frances~
    What a lovely collection of faces you have! I especially like the ones you created yourself. I, too, love faces in the garden, they are like little garden spirits.

    Hi Karrita, thanks. It was fun to make them, even if they are kind of weird looking. I am not much of an artist or sculptress. They are the guardians of the garden. πŸ™‚

  18. skeeter says:

    Ah, there are the wax wings again; Wonderful header! You missed the link I gave them in my bird posting. tee hee. I sneak it in on you by disguise. πŸ™‚ The faces are great! Leaf Man reminds me of the Cowardly Lion on the Wizard of Oz… Love all the faces and now when spotting one while on our adventures, I will think of my blogging bud Frances… πŸ™‚

    Dang, Skeeter, I went back and could not find that link! I did read the bird post and commented. Aha, I found it! You know sometimes I am in a hurry and often don’t click on the links offered. In my defense, it just said Cedar Waxwings! I do appreciate the link love, and you, Skeeter. WordPress used to have a list of links but it got messed up and now shows a list of every link on the blogrolls too, which is nearly every blog and I can’t tell which are links in the stories anymore. So sorry for missing it. Good spot with the cowardly lion, he does look like Bert Lahr! πŸ™‚

  19. James says:

    Mr Congo Bongo looks extremely surprised: as if his head was separated from a perfectly acceptable body very quickly and without his express permission.
    Are you sure the cat gargoyle isn’t Batman?

    Hi James, so nice to see you. Mr. Bongo Congo has been getting some attention today. He is supposed to be somewhat scary, based on a tribal mask I saw in a book by Little and Lewis, the garden sculptors. Maybe that is how the models were persuaded to pose for those masks, decapitation. The cat does look like a superhero, maybe more like Micheal Keaton or Val Kilmer? Or is it George Clooney?

  20. iona says:

    Hi Frances
    I am reminded of a secret woodland garden somewhere in Eastern Europe when I look at all of those beautiful photos. Garden art is such an essential part of any garden. All those faces add a bit of intrigue and an element of surprise at every turn. Absolutely wonderful Frances. What sort of materials seem to hold up the best over the years?

    Hi Iona, thanks so much, that is a high compliment. The look I am attracted to is of those very ancient gardens, old concrete helps with that. And moss. πŸ™‚ Concrete is the best by far. The resin does not hold up well at all, if out in the elements. Under the deck where it is dry and shady had worked well, on the sunny fence uncovered is when the resins ones started to crumble.

  21. Liz says:

    I think all the faces are great – but I especially love the green man. I have been searching for the ‘right’ one for ages and now I’ve found him – in your garden!!

    Hi Liz, thanks. The green man was a gift from my friend Shari. Several of them were gifts actually. I do love them all. And your rock placement in the pond was phenomenal!

  22. Liz says:

    Er, I’ve just done a comment and it says it’s 2.17pm! Please don’t think I stay up all night blogging – it’s only 7.15pm here!
    Nutty Gnome

    HA Liz, I don’t even look at that. I think it is GMA time or something like that.

  23. I love your faces – it’s great to be able to discover things like these when you wander around a garden. and, seeing as I can’t wander around your garden in real life, this is the next best thing.

    Hi Happy, thanks. I do wish you could wander around my garden for real, but appreciate you taking the time to do the virtual tour. πŸ™‚

  24. nancybond says:

    I love the idea of faces in the garden…they seem a little bit like wandering souls…not lost, just seeking beauty and companionship. πŸ™‚

    Hi Nancy, thanks, glad you like them as not all do. I like to think of them as the guardians of the garden, and they are my friends too. I have a special bond with the Bongo Congo family. πŸ™‚

  25. Joy says:

    Frances .. I truly love all of your faces in your garden : ) I want to collect more for mine and yours have been wonderful inspirations ! .. what would a garden be without the mystery of many different faces .. almost like spirits in the garden .. in fact I think they are .. they all have individual personalities and attitudes .. maybe they picked up on those from the people who either bought them or placed them in the garden .. or maybe they wait for a passing spirit of good nature and asks to keep them company ? LOL

    Hi Joy, thanks, I thought you would enjoy this one! My garden likes being well populated, just like yours. πŸ™‚

  26. patsi says:

    What a collection!!
    Think maybe my favorites are the sun gods.
    And of course…your trade mark !
    Fun post.

    Hi Patsi, thanks. And good spotting on my avatar. I do identify with Mrs. Bongo Congo. We do look alike too. πŸ™‚

  27. Brenda Kula says:

    Oh Frances, yesterday in a pond magazine I saw a face that was face up in the pond! It was a little disconcerting. Like someone floating on their back in the water. I want one of those!

    Hi Brenda, that sounds pretty cool, although somewhat disconcerting. I would maybe bring it up to the surface, Lady of the Lake? Where’s Excaliber!

  28. cheryl says:

    Wonderful creatures you have Frances. I’m a collector of ruins, mostly antiquated machinery, kinda sorta. Better in me garden then in a scrap yard πŸ™‚ Mind you Bacchus guards The Pond as if it was his own. Note to self: check his wineskin. Seriously I love art in the garden, it brings such a uniqueness to it.

    Hi Cheryl, thanks. Your machinery bits sound great, I have lots of rusted metal, found on the property as digging commenced that is displayed proudly too. I think a couple of my faces are Bacchus too. πŸ™‚ Loved the sugaring story.

  29. lynnsgarden says:

    Frances, your stone family is so whimsical and creative but I’m still dreaming of your hellebores…lol.

    Hi Lynn, thanks. The hellebores are just beginning to reach their full potential on these warmer sunny days.

    BTW, when you leave your url, it needs to be the whole address, with the blogspot.com/ included to link back to your blog. I fixed it this time, but it does help to bring more readers to you if your link is complete. Just saying. πŸ™‚

  30. Tyra says:

    Hi Frances, Amazing, you got yourselt a wonderful collection of faces. What an exciting thing to collect. Great to go aroung in the garden and have so many to talk to.
    Thank you for sharing!

    I wish you a great weekend, xoxo Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks. I do enjoy them. And your kissable lily! You too have a great weekend.

  31. Jan says:

    I have a few faces, too, in my garden but not as many as you do. I love the guy at the front door.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. Many of my faces were gifts, the large one by the front door a Christmas present from the Financier. Get those hints out to your gift givers! πŸ™‚

  32. skeeter says:

    I was just messing with you on the link. No thanks needed, I like to send people in the direction of certain things which capture my interest and the wax wings were one of them. I thought it would be fun to name the birds instead of poster. Tee hee.. Gail never caught a link on her cat Coal with my snow village posting. Tee hee. Kitty needed a link as did your waxwings.. πŸ˜‰

    Calling for 75-degrees today and 80 the following 3 days so you know where I will be… Have a good weekend! πŸ™‚

    Hi Skeeter, whew, you had me worried there. I do fear missing links that people kindly give me, I’m sure it happens all the time and I am so sorry for that. Letting me know is the best way for me, but some people will come and leave a comment so I will come to their blog. If they post every day though, I might miss the post that contains the link here. Yours was hidden though, no fair! Warm temps here too so I have been out the last two days doing all kinds of fun stuff. It’s great to be back in the garden. πŸ™‚

  33. linda says:

    What fun Frances! I loved this post the first time, and its even more fun after having gotten to know you better over the past year.

    I was looking for you on the registration list yesterday. . . be sure to register if you haven’t already. I’m looking forward to meeting my long-lost cousin in Chicago in May!

    Hi Linda, thanks. It is good for me to be able to recycle some of the earlier posts when something comes up. This time my computer went haywire. I was afraid it was going to crash, it kept getting stuck and I to turn it off without shutting down properly. A good clean up of the files seemed to fix it though, whew! Thanks for letting me know about the registration form. I thought I had sign up when I joined the google thing. You bet I want to meet my fellow Indian princess! HA

  34. Lareine says:

    what a wonderful series of photos (and faces:))… i think these kind of ornaments in the garden add a whimsical dimension to it… and i feel like playing hide and seek with them…

    hope you’ll have a sunny weekend:)

    Hi Lareine, thanks so much and welcome. Your own photos are otherworldly! The clivia is pure magic behinds your lens. You too have a great weekend. We’ll be happy with warm, sun or not. πŸ™‚

  35. TC says:

    What an eclectic collection of codgers! I’d love to see them all in their element.

    Hi TC, thanks. They are a motley crue. HA I would love for you to see them in their element also. πŸ™‚

  36. CurtissAnn says:

    My goodness, you are talented! I love these! And what a clever way to hang them in a protected area. Thanks for sharing. I will likely not be able to keep my hands out when hubby next has a concrete project. πŸ™‚

    Hi Curtissann, thanks. I like to make things out of leftovers. πŸ™‚ Do grab you some concrete, and wear gloves!

  37. Sweet Bay says:

    I love all your garden faces. They are so varied and whimsical. I especially like the face with the fountain — very cool. πŸ™‚

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks. Were you talking about our friend Mr. Bongo Congo? He didn’t appeal to some other readers, so glad you liked him. He does has loads of character. The missus thinks so too. πŸ™‚

  38. joey says:

    A lovely family of faces, Frances … your fairies must never be lonely!

    Hi Joey, thanks. HA, you must be psychic, the fairies were feeling a little put out about not being mentioned lately. We had to get to work on that. πŸ™‚

  39. Jen says:

    Your garden is full of personality! Last fall I had a few of those carved coconut heads but they’ve turned to compost now. Time to find some new friends.

    Hi Jen, thanks. Most of my friends began to crumble when they were on the fence too. I really liked them there, but they would soon be ruined so a safe place had to be found for them. The concrete ones have lasted the best, resin the worst. Good luck finding some new buddies, but coconut heads sound way cool! πŸ™‚

  40. Such huge collection of variegated faces! Great job, Frances. I love the Green Man too and also the Satyr and moon

    Hi Chandramouli, thanks. It sounds like we both like the mythological creatures! The legends of the Green Man fascinate me the most, the guardian of the garden. I love it. πŸ™‚

  41. Debi says:

    Your garden faces are cool, but I’m salivating over all the Cedar Waxwings in your new banner. Wow!

    Hi Debi, thanks. I did a post about the waxwings visit here. https://fairegarden.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/thirsty-throngs/

  42. Do you ever feel the need to look over your shoulder while you’re gardening?? πŸ˜‰ A fun variety, especially when you’ve made some of them yourself! We don’t see Cedar Waxwings often… that is an amazing photograph!

    Hi Shad, thanks. HA, I do like to say hello to the faces, they are my friends in the garden, along with the plants. Thanks for that about the waxwings, I was very lucky that day. They let me get within three feet of them to take photos for my camera cannot take a clear zoom shot.

  43. I remember that post. I love the “Green Men.” They are favorites of mine. However, I think I would always feel like someone was watching me. πŸ™‚ ~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks for being a long time reader! You and Carol are funny about being watched. HA Think of them more as the guardians of the gardens. I do wish they would guard against the devil squirrels though. πŸ™‚

  44. Monica says:

    Are you sure it was cosmic forces and not cosmic FACES?! Hyuck hyuck.

    Now that really deserves a HA Monica! When was the last time I heard the word hyuck, or seen it written? Glad you are feeling better, we missed you. πŸ™‚

  45. cindee says:

    Wow I love all your faces! They are so great! I especially like the head in the bird bath. That is cool!

    Hi Cindee, thanks and welcome to the alternative universe of the pressed word. That is the greeting I give to those who were on the blogroll at the blogger Faire Garden when they visit the wordpress Fairegarden for the first time. πŸ™‚ So far that head in the birdbath has withstood the wet freeze and thaw cycles. It has been nearly ten years, so whatever material it is made of is tough!

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