Yard Art and Handmade Places: Extraordinary Expressions of Home

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University of Texas Press, Oct 15, 2007 - Architecture - 170 pages
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Relatively few people in America build their own homes, but many yearn to make the places they live in more truly their own. Yard Art and Handmade Places profiles twenty homemakers who have used their yards and gardens to express their sense of individuality, to maintain connections to family and heritage, or even to create sacred spaces for personal and community refreshment and healing. Jill Nokes, an authority on native plants and ecological restoration, traveled across the state of Texas, seeking out residents who had transformed their yards and gardens into oases of art and exuberant personal expression. In this book, she presents their stories, told in their own words, about why they created these handmade places and what their yard art has come to mean to them and to their communities.

Rather than viewing yard art as a curiosity or oddity, Nokes treats it as an integral part of home-making, revealing how these places become invested with deep personal or social meaning. Yard Art and Handmade Places celebrates the fact that, despite the proliferation of look-alike suburbs, places still exist where people with ordinary means and skills are shaping space with their own hands to create a personal expression that can be enjoyed by all.

 

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Contents

Places Full of Memory and Meaning
1
The Repertoire of the Garden
11
Cascada de Piedra Pinta
25
A Natural and Peaceful Spirit
31
Little by Little Hes Been Blessing Us
37
Stories from the Valley
45
The Love You Have To Do It
47
Placenames and Family
55
The Cathedral of Junk
97
Casa de Azucar
105
Stories from the Panhandle
111
A Great Peaceful Place
115
The Only Trees for Miles Around
121
A Windbreak for the Homeplace
127
God and the Birdhouses Brought Us Together
133
A Lesson in Landmarks
139

Mangos Jungle
61
The Ardent Virtuosity of Collectors Gardens
67
One Big Cactus and Succulent Dish Garden
69
A Surprise Comes Every Day
75
Sculpture You Can Live In
81
The Flower Man
89
This Is How You Stay Alive
145
Desires of the Heart
151
More Than Four Seasons
157
NOTES
165
INDEX
167
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Jill Nokes is a landscape designer in Austin, Texas.

Born in New Jersey in 1943, Pat Jasper grew up on various army bases in the U.S. and overseas. She was educated at New Mexico State University and the University of Colorado. A resident of Canada since 1974, her poems have appeared in "Canadian Literature, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The Canadian Forum", and in the anthology "Full Moon". She was director of the Axle-Tree Coffee House in Toronto.

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