11 November 2012

Art in the Garden, or the Garden Artist

 Last year, one of my friends introduced me to the amazing metal artist, Al Simm of Avon River Metalworks. I'm so glad she did, and you will be too.
Al has been called "the reluctant artist", although there's nothing reluctant about his work ethic. Or his skills. He takes ordinary metal, in many cases recycled from oil tanks and other metal that would otherwise end up in landfills, and creates garden sculptures of all sizes and kinds. Like these metal cattails...

Or the giant sunflowers that are probably his most popular creation...
...unless of course you're a serious rose collector, in which case you're probably more intrigued by the roses of all sizes. 
Here's another of the sunflower sculptures, at a garden in Wolfville. Each piece is unique, even if there are similar flowers on the sculpture. 
Al lives on Sangster Bridge Road, in Upper Falmouth, not far from Baldwin's Nurseries, and his studio is always open for visitors if the workshop door is open. He's working solo now, but had a friend working with him this past summer. 

 His family front yard gets turned into an outdoor gallery of his work, and it certainly commands attention when you're driving by!
 Al works with new metal as well as with recycled materials, and you can get your piece done in a variety of finishes--natural, with rust occuring as the piece weathers; covered with a protective, glossy finish, which holds for several years; or painted. Pieces range from tabletop inukshuks, cattails, and French crosses to cornstalks 8 feet tall!

Want to see more of Al's work? He has it on display at Harvest Gallery in Wolfville, at Blomidon Nurseries in Greenwich, Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Centre in Hammonds Plains, Bunchberry Nurseries in Upper Clements...and he will be at the NS Designer Craft Council show this coming weekend, November 16-18, at Pier 21 in Halifax. I'm sure you'll love having one of his pieces in your garden as much as I do! Or maybe two. Or three....


  1. I'm thrilled that Windsor has so many of his sculptures. It always makes me smile to see them.

  2. I really like the roses. What a fascinating talen. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow...I absolutely LOVE these, Jodi. The sunflowers, the other daisy-type (are they coneflowers?) - just fabulous!

  4. We have a local artist here in SW Ontario who does similar work - my favourite are his hummingbirds hovering over a flower.

  5. I love this sort of thing. A friend back in Ontario gave me a HUGE metal sunflower and a big dragonfly. I treasure both of them and they make the garden (my teeny, postage stamp garden) more interesting.

  6. Beautiful work! I love the Cattails. Thanks for sharing his photos and highlighting this talented artist.

  7. Beautiful garden art Jodi .. I wish there was someone like him close by to Kingston (I'm sure there must be but I haven't really checked that out) .. I am guessing it would be very expensive to buy one of his pieces and have it shipped to my house (I am so darn lazy! LOL)

  8. Hi Jodi, greetings from Northern Ontario. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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