I will just say right now that I hate the phrase ‘whimsy’ as, to me, it’s just a polite way of saying “tacky”. That’s probably because of all the design styles for gardens, a ‘whimsical’ style using re-purposed elements is the HARDEST to get right. It requires an amazing eye and a keen aesthetic that’s honestly hard to come by- even for those who excel at other design styles. However, every now and then you happen upon a garden that gets it right. And when “whimsy” is done well, it is a pleasure to behold!
There is such a garden in Lindon, Utah. It’s owned by Mayor Jim Dain and his uber-talented wife, Pamela. Pamela has created a series of spaces we design geeks call ‘vignettes’. The garden covers more than an acre and consists of a series of cleverly created and, more importantly, immaculately maintained gardens. I hate to say ‘rooms’ because that’s too trendy a word and not exactly the right description. The attention to detail in this garden is incredible and the elements all combine to make an adventure out of everyday items.
The Garden isn’t just generous in terms of design, the garden creator, Pamela, was also incredibly generous to allow me to tour and photograph her garden to share with you. I’ve driven by for years on the way to my sister-in-law’s home and I’ve always wanted to stop but was too shy to go and ask. I finally did and I’m so glad. Pamela and her family were enjoying the back porch when I arrived and she was kind enough to give me a spur-of-the-moment tour and history of the Garden.
Everywhere you turn in this garden there’s something new to see. While the various vignettes have developed organically over many years, the entire garden feel like it was planned and executed perfectly. That’s a significant achievement, without a plan, most of us would end up with an awkward layout. Of course, having an acre+ to sprawl out on certainly helps!