Every garden needs a little something besides vegetation to beautify, enhance and personalize the space, barring objections from HOAs and grumpy neighbors. I have this, along with far too many other little whimsies here and there, peeking out from various spots in my backyard garden.
This copper and steel kinetic wind sculpture is my favorite nonliving thing in the garden. Balanced in such a way that the cups catch even the slightest breeze, the two sides spin in opposite directions and the whole thing rotates 360 degrees. It is a delight to watch and it is silent, so there is no noise competition for my second most favorite inanimate object, wind chimes! The wind sculpture is useful too, because I can tell which way and how strong the breeze is in an instant. For some reason, I like to know which way the wind is blowing.
I first saw these at the El Prado Gallery in Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona about 10 years ago, and although I was taken with them immediately, back then I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on "yard art." On each trip to Sedona, I would stop at the gallery and marvel at the display of dozens of wind sculptures, all works of Lyman Whitaker, and imagine one of them spinning furiously in my garden.
In May 2006 I visited several open gardens during the Sedona Garden Tour. The gardens were lovely and their views breathtaking, and three of the gardens had one or more of Whitaker's wind sculptures strategically placed to highlight the views and gardens. Well, that did it for me. After completing the tour, I stopped at the gallery and purchased a sculpture after an hour of debate--not on whether to spend the money (that ship had sailed) but rather, which model to choose. I chose the Double Spinner model because of its size (90") and its simple movement. Once home, setting it up took minutes, and I have never regretted purchasing it. I've spent many hours watching it spin, and marvel when it does not, which is rare.
If you haven't seen Whitaker's works, check out the Wilford Gallery website and look under Sculptors. Their site shows Whitaker's various wind sculptures in motion. They are fascinating, hypnotic works of art.