Everything’s broken

Posted on | June 30, 2010 | No Comments

"La Dragona del Jardin" in the Echo Park garden of Larry Nichols and Rob Kibler. Photo: R Daniel Foster (reproduced with permission). Click on La Dragona to be taken to Foster's story "A smashing success" in the Los Angeles Times.

By now you may have read that the Governor of California and a good number of state legislators want to spare voters the trouble of considering an $11bn bond measure to pay for the package of water bills that they passed last November. After describing passage of the bills as “historic” and “herculean” last fall, the same men who told us that it had to be done because our water supply was “one earthquake, one flood away from collapse” have now decided that disaster can wait. We’re not scared enough to pay what it will cost to plan for it. For details, go to Aquafornia. My own response is to begin a grass roots campaign for La Dragona for Governor and Fifi D’Orsay for her lieutenant, along with planning a mosaic project for the weekend. The inspiration: A delightful piece of garden writing, “A smashing success” by R Daniel Foster.

Foster’s piece about the mosaics on the Echo Park property of Larry Nichols and Rob Kibler captures a garden that runs as much on imagination as water. It bears stressing that, according to Foster, the inspiration for Kibler, former head of Glendale Community College’s ceramics department, and Nichols, a former art director, was not water conservation, but the Northridge earthquake, which turned their ceramics collection into grist for the likes of La Dragona, above and Fifi (below). The excitement at how this kind of project could relieve garden plants (and therefore irrigation) of producing year-round color is mine. Otherwise, credit for an indomitable celebration of beauty and fun in the aftermath of disaster belongs to Foster, Kibler and Nichols. Click here for the Times photo gallery of the Nichols-Kibler garden. Also check out Foster’s website.

This bench was modeled after Fifi D'Orsay, who played naughty French girls in 1930s Hollywood movies. Photo (copyright) R Daniel Foster. Click on the image to be taken to his website fosterimage.com

Fifi was celebrated in a suitably saucy way. Photo (copyright) R Daniel Foster. Click on the image to be taken to Fifi's IMDb entry.

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