Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Art in the Garden... with a Purpose

McMenamins Edgefield - Troutdale, Oregon

Once the County Poor Farm, the 38-acre McMenamins estate near Portland features a Georgian revival-style lodge, restaurants & pubs, vineyard & brewery, gardens & spa, golf course & more. Guest rooms include private en suite accommodations, European-style common baths, & hostel rooms. I planned my McMenamins visit to coincide with Cracked Pots - staying at Edgefield during the organization's 10th Annual Garden Art Show.

While the Cracked Pots event is lively and fun, the purpose is serious: Reuse, recycle.... look creatively at trash!

Tess Beistel, one of the co-founders, explained that although the group creates garden art, the overriding concerns are conservation, and stewardship of the environment.
Visit www.crackedpots.org .... to learn more.

Earth Tones - Imaginative, recycled creations
An Artist Directory is listed on the Cracked Pots web site.

The iconic water tower stands at McMenamins Edgefield.

A 3/4-acre garden provides produce for Edgefield's Black Rabbit Restaurant:
Head gardener, Kim Kincaid

Clifton Metal Works

Garden trough on the Edgefield grounds.

Piece by Piece - Created from Previously-loved Pieces


  1. Oh, I want that garden gate (door)!

  2. Hi Alice~~ Oh yes, my old stomping ground. I'm a 1979 [ahem...] graduate of Reynolds High School in Troutdale. "Edgefield Manor" as it was called, sat its stately self at the top of a gentle slope as I recall. It looked abandoned. It looked creepy. I was young and didn't give much thought to what was behind the facade. However I think I remember hearing that it was an "insane asylum." But you know how kids are. Years later I was glad to hear that McMenamins had re-purposed it. I haven't been back to see it. The Cracked Pots organization is fabulous. You didn't mention what [if any] art you decided to take home. I suppose Chuck and I will have to duke it out for the door. :)

  3. I love the metal mask/witch doctor! This is wonderful stuff, and such a good cause too. Thanks, Alice for showing us.

  4. WOW! I would have a field day there!!!!!1 A lot of people around here make yard art out of old glass pieces. I keep saying I am going to do it, but have yet to start!

  5. The glass pieces are lovely. I like the last picture most. That's a creative piece and it looks so happy and jovial, very good to put at the entrance so as to brighten up people's moods.

  6. Thank you Alice!!! We, blotanists, like each other, but there could be a fight for that door/gate!

  7. Yes Alice, like Grace I am wondering what you had to have and hauled back to SF with you! Did you enjoy your Oregon visit?

  8. Now, now, there's to be no fisticuffs among the blotanists! The garden gate/door will remain a tempting element in the Edgefield gardens, and you must all hunt for delightful salvaged bits to add to your own gardens.

    In another life I created sculpture day in and day out, so my time at Cracked Pots offered inspiration & a few new tricks. Then the Portland Art Museum, like all great museums, added to the itch to create new work.

    Rather than haul anything back, I find I'm pondering ideas for new works. My current medium is encaustic - beeswax combined with damar varnish crystals - on wood, with pigments & paint.

    I had just received a shipment of plants before my trip, so I reluctantly held off during my tour of Cistus. Then again, spending time with Sean Hogan is endlessly fascinating, and I was able to see Sean's home garden - nearly a decade since my last visit!

  9. Oh Alice, you have such wonderful adventures! An excellent post. You have inspired me, as always.

  10. Gosh, it's fun to see 'my neck of the woods' and some of my 'cracked pot' acquaintences on your blog! Great photos. And yes, great gardens!

  11. RS,
    Thanks for the kind words. We inspire each other!

    Wanted to see Cracked Pots for such a long time and get back to 'your neck of the woods' - it's a pleasure to share the experience. Alice

  12. I was so sorry that this was the week after I was there. Can't do everything all the time even though I want to. Thanks for sharing.