A Whole New Meaning To Gardening

By Meera Dolasia on June 8, 2009

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What do you have in your yard?  Some plants and outdoor furniture, perhaps? Add metal junk-based, homemade sculptures and you've got yourself Don Carlson and his wife Melissa Kane's porch in Richmond, California. And these are not just garden props - But crafty creations serve a purpose, from delicious barbecuing to innovative decor.

Behind a wooden fence, looms a mammoth sunflower, created out of twelve shovel tips (petals), a metal pole (the stem), and a large metal ring (the round core). In the center of the yard, encompassing a fire pit (crafted from an old fire extinguisher), lie old milk cans that have been transformed into stools. The monster (literally) barbecue, stands on the side - body, legs, feet, eyes and all. Believe it or not, it actually grills!

While Don works with all kinds of recycled things, compressor tanks seem the 'ingredient' of choice for his sculptures. His compressor tank benches are very popular, selling for as much as $5,000 USD, apiece.

In keeping with the couples' strong views on recycling and conservation, their garden is planted almost entirely with succulents, plants with thick fleshy leaves adapted to store water. In addition, they are easy to grow, require very little  maintainence and do well in recycled containers.

Don, whose daytime job is teaching welding at an elementary school in Corte Madera , started creating the scultptures in 1998, with no formal training. Today, his sculptures are part of private collections all over the country and his home, a tourist destination, attracting hundreds of people to see each new addition.

However, that this not all - Prior to taking up sculpting, this amazingly talented man wrote and produced comedy skits for radio station 106.1 KMEL - and that was in addition to his day job! To read more about Don and view additional pictures check out his site www.rudedesigns.

sources: sfgate.com, rudedesigns.com

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12 Comments
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  • nick jr3/5/2014
    thats good
    • rowan
      rowan12/9/2012
      how long did it take to make those things
      • cottoncandyfluf
        cottoncandyfluf11/28/2012
        so cool!!
        • GDFDFCCTYF3/20/2012
          AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          • moonraven
            moonraven12/30/2011
            WICKED!
            • cutey
              cutey9/15/2011
              Cool!I like the flower!^^
              • coooooool6/19/2009
                i really like this article. there is a pretty flower.
                • goofy man6/9/2009
                  nice rocks
                  • dinoman6/9/2009
                    i prefer the bench
                    • dinoman6/9/2009
                      nice barbeque

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