What's in the box?

I love receiving mystery boxes that I know contain something for the garden. I'm not talking about catalog merchandise, where you pretty much know exactly what you'll be getting. I'm talking about boxes that although you may have some idea of what they contain, you don't know exactly what it will be.

For instance, plant purchases. You may know what you ordered, but you don't know the exact size of the plant, how bushy it will be, what fragrance will escape when the box is opened. Same thing (to an even greater extent) with trade plants -- you don't really know what lives inside those cardboard walls until you release it. It's a mystery, and that makes it more exciting!


The other day I received a box of something I got in trade for a bamboo plant. No, it's not another bamboo or any type of plant as you can see:

Yes, I know it's strange indeed that I didn't trade for more bamboo plants. So what did I trade for?

It's a giant bug!

Well, a sculpture of a bug. A mantis if you couldn't figure it out. Fellow bamboo collector Matt Walker saw my post about taking a division of one of my plants and finding the rhizome growing inside a rotting tree root and asked if that division was available for trading.

What Matt didn't realize was that plant was about 8' (2.4m) tall and was in no way shippable. Luckily I had a smaller specimen of that exact same species, so the trade was on. Matt creates metal garden critters (and lots of other things) and offered to trade one of his mantis sculptures for the plant.

I jumped on that deal, as I've been meaning to add more sculpture to the yard, and I'm happy to have one of Matt's pieces now!

I'm not sure exactly where I'll put this guy yet, so for now it's just going to sit on the deck, right outside the window:

I haven't decided yet if I like the antenna up or down. Probably up
but I'll leave them down for now so I don't poke an eye out.

There are holes in the feet allowing it to be screwed down, and Matt says that it looks great hanging head-down on the wall above a garage door. I'll have to give that a try, or maybe on a tree...

I'm thinking it may go on the ground, but I'm a little worried about raccoons messing with it...

...although from a raccoon's vantage point this may look like something to leave alone.

(I know it's metal, but I expect they could still do some damage before they broke too many teeth.)

Thanks Matt!

If you'd like more information about Matt's sculpture or other metalworking projects, visit his website at www.matthewdwalker.com


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Christine @ the Gardening Blog  – (October 25, 2011 at 10:11 AM)  

Oh I LOVE this!! Had a look at the website, he does some stunning things!!

Barbie  – (October 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM)  

What a FAB pice of art!!! Love love the Mantis!! I also love the idea of trade. Hmmm I wonder if that would work here is SA. I must keep that in mind!! What a great post! Thanks for sharing.... Mantis got a name yet?? Wonder if he does chickens .......

Alan  – (October 26, 2011 at 5:29 PM)  

No name yet. Probably just "the mantis", unless I get some good ideas here. "Samanthis" kinda works for me.

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