Glass Meets Rock in the Garden
Explore artist Cherrie La Porte’s backyard
People often wonder, how do I dress up my garden? How do I go about blending plants and other objects? If you are in search of a nicer look and feel for your garden, you may not have previously considered glass as an option. Cherrie often experiences this reaction from people who see her backyard: “I never thought of that!”. Combining glass and rocks around your garden is one way to diversify your space and add eye-catching points of interest.
Why Glass in the Garden?
Glass is right at home in the garden for so many reasons! There is a floral element to glass; its bright hues mimic nature’s most colorful flowers. The colors won’t fade with time in the outdoors, and glass pieces don’t require any maintenance other than a quick cleaning now and then. Glasswork is the perfect way to bring splashes of color to your garden all year long, no matter the season or the weather.
During different times of day and as the seasons change, glass changes its character by constantly reflecting the sunlight and shadow in new ways. Inviting light to play in your garden, glass art is always interesting to look at and enjoy. Glass can also serve as a complement or a contrast to the earthiness of rocks.
Rock – Nature’s most functional asset
Cherrie likes to emphasize the accessibility of working with stone around the garden – it can be as simple as gardening and just as therapeutic – as long as you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty! Since she is most well-known for being a glass artist, we were surprised to learn that Cherrie’s first love is stone: “My passion is actually rock! When I moved to this property and saw all the natural stone I already had, and all the space I had to add more, I thought, “It’s like a playground for me!”” She confesses to being an avid rock-stacker, and recently turned that passion into artwork as well.
As you tour Cherrie’s property, you’ll notice touches of stone everywhere serving a myriad of purposes. Let’s take a walk through her garden to be inspired and learn from her creativity.
An outdoor shower makes it possible to shower under the sky and stars. Surrounding the shower are pieces of Salmon Red Quartzite Flagstone, simply placed onto the ground and filled in with some Southwest Brown DG. This makes a perfect staging area to leave your shoes while you shower, and the Salmon flagstone reflects the sunlight beautifully.
Masonry blocks surround a large palm tree, and true-to-form, Cherrie has top-dressed this tree-sized planter with colorful pieces of glass. Multi-colored pavers interlock to form the driveway, bringing even more color into the functionality of the space.
Along the sides of her brick-red abode, Cherrie has utilized Red Lava Cinders to provide a dual purpose. While the red color allows them to blend into the side of the house, they also provide a natural drainage pathway and protect the ground from erosion.
Square paving stones create a serene, informal pathway that draws you into the garden and add some interest a piece of land that might otherwise be barren.
Large boulders create a natural barrier to the edge of the property. One of Cherrie’s colorful glass mosaic surfboards breaks up the line with a splash of color, and some of the boulders are adorned with pieces of glass or decorations. Framed glass art hangs on the wooden fence behind the boulders to tie everything together.
Standing glass sculptures act as focal points in strategic places around the garden. They add a centerpiece to each area of the garden with bold colors.
Unique stone pieces that capture the imagination are juxtaposed amongst the plants to add a bit of whimsy.
Pleasantly surprising you with flashes of bright blue, large pieces of landscape glass are casually placed throughout the landscape. As you glance down the pathways, you’ll catch tempting glimpses of them up ahead as they draw you further into the garden.
Hanging glass sculptures bring color into the shadiest alcoves of the garden, brightening up the space and gently rotating in the breeze to create new effects.
Stones create natural edging to small ponds scattered throughout the garden.
Bits of glass art are placed on or around some of the stones as an accent.
No need to obsess over paving right up to the edge of the house – Cherrie sprinkled a few Mexican beach pebbles along the gap and they look stunning. She also spread a few at the base of a pylon that supports her pergola to dress it up.
What it’s like to work with Cherrie
Working with Cherrie as an artist is a personalized experience. When she begins a project, she gets to know both the space or yard and the person who inhabits it. Her process is based on the intuition she receives from the site visit and the informal interview, blending those two factors to determine both what the person likes and what their space calls for. She draws her creative inspiration from this blending of the people and the land.
Cherrie absolutely loves the garden as a canvas, and enjoys finding new ways to blend color and texture to achieve a balance between glass and garden. Some of the projects Cherrie has made for homeowners are stand-alone glass sculptures, hanging decorations and functional privacy walls that are also beautiful artwork. In her own words, “I like to add beauty to other people’s yards and help them create something special – a real conversation piece they can then share with their guests.”
If you’d like to see more of Cherrie’s art, find out about visiting her garden paradise/art studio yourself, or perhaps to have her create a one-of-a-kind art piece for your own garden, visit CherrieLaPorte.com or email [email protected]