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Lifestyle Stories

Garden Art In Eye Of Beholder

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: May 20, 2013 at 05:12 AM

I'm a big lover of garden art - the funky old rusted kind you find on trash heaps. There's something about vines snaking through chipped filigree and cherub-faced pansies popping up (surprise!) from toilet bowls that I find appealing.

I'm sure many of you prefer your yard art a bit more, shall we say, cultured. That's cool. The world needs culture, too.

I am not alone in my love of junk as art, as I learned in July when I had a little salvaged art contest. One of the most enthusiastic contributors (there were a few we could call "passionate junkers") was Lynn Barber of Lithia.

Lynn, as it turns out, is the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods agent for the Hillsborough County Extension. She ran her own contest this month, with a twist (and cash prizes, which totally one-ups me.) She called for creations made mostly from recycled or recyclable materials that could stand up to the elements, and she got some creative entries.

"Lynn loves junk," says Marina D'Abreau, horticulture agent at the extension (Lynn was on a beach far, far away last week, so I talked with Marina instead.) "And she's so passionate about composting."

This was her first recycled art contest, Marina says. It was held Nov. 5-9 at the Hillsborough County Fair. Prize money was donated by Consolidated Resource Recovery Inc.

Lynn definitely plans to hold the contest again next year, so start thinking about your entries. In fact, if you get to work now, you may just come up with some beautiful (and really cheap) holiday gifts. (That's Marina's idea, and I think it's a great one.)

If you missed seeing the nifty salvage art entries from my contest back in July, check the photo gallery at TBO.com, keyword: Dirt. It's never too late to add your own.


Reporter Penny Carnathan can be reached at pcarnathan@tampatrib.com or (813) 259-7612.

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