California Report 1

Here begins a series of reports on garden related memories from our recent San Diego visit with my daughter and her family. My art teacher daughter took me to the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park to invite me to select a belated birthday present she wished to give me. The particular shop in which she was interested (Studio # 39) created totems, and she was correct in thinking that my selecting the components personally would make the gift more meaningful.


Granddaughter Makena showed me samples and helped my see the many variations of items from which I could select.

My daughter Mary Shannon and I pondered for some time over the many options and finally settled on our personal favorites (she wanted one for herself as well). We probably tried fifty or sixty items before making our final decisions. The proprietress then assembled the totems for us.

Mary Shannon hung her totem where it could be seen from her back patio. We both liked the way it reflects the sun.


When I got home, I hung mine on a raised hook in one of the garden beds. It has good visibility from the screened porch and throughout the garden.


Here are close-ups of some of the components:

DSCN1864  DSCN1865


I enjoy having a bit of artful whimsy in the garden, and this one is quite different from others I have used. My hope is that it will be a conversation starter with visitors. I know it will be a reminder of a very thoughtful daughter’s gift to her Dad.


About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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10 Responses to California Report 1

  1. Jack says:

    Love the totem! Very cool. Now we’re going to have to go pick one for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pbmgarden says:

    The totem is such a cool idea. Glad you had a chance to visit your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Noell Schepp says:

    Welcome Home! Love your totem. Glad you are back to reporting. Missed you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. William Barratt says:

    Why did you choose a piece that says “chicken” in Chinese?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alane says:

    Wow! Thank you John for the wonderful words about our art village you share on your blog. Our artist village is a magical place to visit and one cannot help but to be drawn into our 37 working artists studios. We have over 200+ San Diego County artists creating unique art work. So if any of your friends visit San Diego tell them to be sure to make Spanish Village Art Center a must to see. Totems by clay artist Beverly Hartgrave


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