Typography in the garden

I want this fountain. Or something similar. If I can ever have the chance to design my own water fountain, I think I’ll find the perfect quote, and have one made from a typeface of my choosing. I’m an art director and these things are important to me. I don’t have enough (or any) typography in my garden. I’m going to have to remedy that.

This “Artisan Garden” was an outdoor small-scale garden tucked away in a hilly part of the display area of Chelsea. I was taken with this waterfall/fountain. It reads “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry,” a 1732 quote by Thomas Fuller.

Maybe for me, something more like Mitch Hedberg’s, “My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” Or, W.C. Fields’ “I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.” Or Steven Wright’s “I got this powdered water – now I don’t know what to add.

Though the dark gray post that served as the fountain’s “upright” element helped define the reflective silver letters of the words from one angle, the letterforms were just difficult enough to read against the garden’s busyness that you had to pay attention to, and savor, every word slowly.

I really wish I’d taken better photos of it. It was exquisite in its plantings and exactness of placement of everything from typography to plantings.

Jim Charlier is an advertising designer/photographer/crafter with a serious gardening problem. He's co-written a garden design book featuring the funky, quirky and fun gardens by the gardeners of Buffalo titled "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" (BuffaloStyleGardens.com); he writes a long-standing garden blog (ArtofGardening.org); led the largest garden tour in America, Garden Walk Buffalo; has written for, or provided photography for dozens of magazines and books; has made presentations and participated in panel discussions on garden design and garden tourism nationally and internationally.

0 comments on “Typography in the garden

  1. I love the fountain and the thought. All our water comes from our well.


  2. I love words used “graphically” (e.g., subway art). Like it!


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