Mock Underwater Garden

When I saw the prompt for this week’s photo challenge, my first thought was ‘Easy!’. My life and experiences seem unlikely to me – as everyone’s would, if we only spared time to think about it. Photographically, I would have said I notice the unlikely. So why is it that looking through my pictures, I can’t find anything unlikely? Not really. [The truth is, everything is just as likely as it is unlikely, given the nature of the world and recent conjectures about it. Don’t blame me for the wooziness of that statement, blame the late, lamented Stephen Hawking.]

Container garden with mermaid under a shell arch

I seem to hear someone object “What’s unlikely about this? The mermaid isn’t real. Were she real, I’d hand it to you.”

OK, I know this isn’t really an underwater garden, just an impression of one in the corner of a real garden. A collection of containers, garden art, natural objects, plants, structures and vines have all been co-opted to create a garden vignette. 

The fence paint mimics the blue ocean. A curtain of mother-of-pearl disks and diamonds gives the effect of water or bubbles or whatever home decor a mermaid might have. The mother-in-law’s tongue recreates seaweed fronds; the starry succulents, huge, sprawly starfish. The opulent seashell arch? Perhaps all mermaids have them.

Mermaid with pearl necklace, shells and plants

Whether it is unlikely or not, I’ll leave you to decide. I’d have thought so once, but everything you see pushes at the edges of your tolerances and expectations – something seen can never be unseen.

Now, in my version of the surreal world we all share, a mock underwater mermaid garden is just as likely as a birdhouse garden, or Chihuly’s Garden and Glass, Seattle or The House of Their Dreams… looking out into my sweetheart’s leafy, birdsong-filled garden is pretty surreal too.

Likely or unlikely, the mermaid’s undersea garden strikes me as wonderful, in every meaning of the word. I’ll tip my hat in celebration of the wit and creativity of the gardener who dreamed it up, Lucinda Hutson, and I’ll usher you away, back to your form of reality, allowing just a lingering backwards look at Lucinda’s purple house, vine-covered garden gate and fish and cactus-topped wall.

Fish and a cactus at the entrance to a purple house

19 Replies to “Mock Underwater Garden”

  1. So true! Especially living in the United States, the unlikely comes true every day. Your example is lovelier than many. 😉

    1. That’s a fact. I’ve been waiting for a suitable prompt to share this vignette for a while – how unlikely it ended up being unlikely!

  2. I love the playfulness. It’s good to have a little bit of eccentricity in the garden.

    1. These pictures were taken a few years ago. I wonder what it is like now, although I imagine these plants are good choices for creating a scene. They’ll gradually bulk up but not alter year round. I suppose the cactus on the wall will eventually flower and die. If I was there now, I’d have more curiosity to find out what that particular plant is growing in.

  3. It took me some extra time to get past your disclaimer about the woozy statement — I had to stop to laugh. Indeed, I read something about Hawking’s last paper, and “woozy” is the perfect word to describe how I felt! I have no idea where the line is that divides likely from unlikely, but the mermaid grotto seems like the perfect place to look for that line. I visited Lucinda’s house and found it just the thing to go with my coffee this morning. What a kick in the imagination! Thank you!

  4. I love it!1 I like the way the “snake” plants (is that what they’re called) seem to be being pulled up and floating in water. It really is quite a gorgeous interpretation.

  5. Oh, this is funny. I don’t see that in these plants until you put them into this context.
    Some of the darkest parts of the redwood forests look like they are underwater, with all the algae like moss and hovering ferns. It is natural though; not as creative as yours.

    1. That must be an amazing sight. Although I have never seen it myself, I have seen ferns on the edges of trees in our local woods and can scale it up to imagine what you mean.

      1. The underside of the redwood forests can be a weird place. The Ewoks of Star Wars really would be right at home there.

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