Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spotted: Fairy Tale Garden

I spotted this mysterious alcove while walking down an unremarkable side street a few years ago. The sheer unlikeliness of this urban oasis and its whimsical statuary caught my eye. Without revealing the location, I'll just say it abuts a basic city alley; the buildings all around it allow for sun only from about noon until 2pm; it is a common area; and down this beckoning, sculpture-strewn path is an average fire escape.

But you'd think there was something more back there. This enchanting sliver of green suggests a kind of though each step taken will draw the wanderer deeper and deeper into a half-remembered fairy tale.

Despite the lack of sun, these unique figures and a few key shade plants turn an otherwise barren strip of dirt into a magical passage.

I don't know what's growing on this fence, and the wind blew the leaves out of focus. Wisteria? It looks a little complicated to train up a chain-link fence, although I personally like complications.

Can anyone identify it?

Whatever it is, these thick serpentine vines add to the sense of fantasy.

Part of the wonder, too,  is just that someone decided to put so much thought into this space. And while I'm sure the Gardener here sometimes wishes for a good solid privacy fence, I am glad there is not one.

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