Saturday, December 13

"And Now for Something Completely Different"

So gardening isn't really happening here right now. Not because I have nothing to do in the garden--au contraire, I have Dutch iris that still need to be planted, species tulips to get into the ground, and 4 or 5 flats of free perennials to get heeled in!--but because I have no time. My "real job" gets busy from December through March, and I've been going a thousand miles a minute.

A week ago, I did my last volunteer day for a while at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. They are all set up for Christmas there, and I couldn't resist taking some photos of the amazing gingerbread creations. These featured houses were all done by the same person, in fact... and seeing them made me happy that I hadn't bothered to try to submit a gingerbread house for the competition. First, a rather accurately slouchy Victorian:


And a gravity-defying, 5+ story rendition of St. Ignatius College:


A typical Kent (as in, near Kent State University) brick house:


Check out the detail on the Kent house, btw. There are mini candles in the windows, and the roof shingles are pieces of Wrigley's gum with notches cut out of the sides. And there are corbels under the window ledge:


Another of his houses, this one with Big Red gum shingles (I think) and a peppermint lawn:


Take a closer look at the ivy growing up the walls. They are those green sprinkles you can put on cupcakes--wonder how long this took him to do? And check out the cute little bucket of poinsettias by the door:


My favorite part of this house wasn't even the ivy or the poinsettias, though. It was the very imaginative use of Cap'n Crunch as the house siding! Check it out:


Of course, the rest of the botanical garden was decked out for Christmas, too. There were Christmas trees and a cityscape to match their chosen "City Windows" theme for the year. Even the long hallway was dressed up:


Not much in the traditional decor items could match the coolness of the gingerbread houses for me... but I did really like this particular botanically-inspired ornament:

I will definitely go back to volunteering once I can work a day off into the equation sometime in the next several weeks... I really need the decompression of working in the glasshouse, doing something with my hands, chatting with the fun people who work there, and borrowing books from their library! But for now, I need to get to bed. There's another 11-hour day on the horizon for me tomorrow, and the night isn't getting any longer. Goodnight. :)

19 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can see why you were inspired to take these photos. My goodness, the person that created these is an artist that uses gingerbread as their medium. All that detail. Wow. Loved seeing them. Thanks for showing us. Don't work too hard.

Gail said...

Welcome back...

I love gingerbread houses and these are fantastically fun and detailed! Where in the world did he find the fruit striped gum? I thought that had gone by the wayside...he probably found it on the internet! Aren't people creative!

Have a good and relaxing weekend!

Gail

Carol said...

Those 'gingerbread' houses are amazing. Whoever makes them must go through the entire grocery store looking at sweet foods in new ways... "Now how can I use this for a house"... very cool.
Thanks for sharing these with us.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

flydragon said...

I think "HOLY MOLEY" sums it up.

SMC said...

Now those are SOME gingerbread houses...almost makes me want to try my hand at it!

MrBrownThumb said...

I've always wanted to make a gingerbread house and seeing these has me in awe. Thanks for sharing the pics Kim.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Kim--Sorry you're so slammed right now--it's hard to go into the holidays so busy. Have you seen the cell phone commercial where Steve Buscemi provides the voice of the gingerbread man trying to keep humans away from his house? Couldn't keep it out of my head as I looked at your pics--but I agree, they're amazing. I bet the Steve Buscemi gingerbread man aspires to one of them . . .

Oh said...

these gingerbread houses, on which "artists" spent their time (likely hours and hours and hours) are some of the things about Holiday Season that are thrilling no matter what age! And the stuff of magic we look forward to (in addition to Advent.)
Wonderful pictures, thanks!

Kelly said...

very cool! thanks for sharing the photos. I can't even imagine the amount of time that went into making these.

A wildlife gardener said...

These are, by far, the loveliest gingerbread houses I have ever seen!

Hello again, Black Swamp Girl :) I am back in blogland after an enforced absence of four months due to family illnes...

Merry Christmas and blessings to you for 2009 :)

Leslie said...

Very cool Kim! I used to love to do big gingerbread houses when my kids were young...I'll be doing a small one with my granddaughter next week...not that she's really ready for one but we're going to try!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Do they kick you out if you eat them?

This reminds me of when I helped my little sister do a gingerbread house from a box one year. She must've been 6 or so, and I was 20 or so. Well, things fell apart for our family, and we just started slapping it together. Finally, we (I) decided to put a twist on this mickie mouse house: mickie went nuts, from the roof, holding a twizzlers rifle and mowed down other disney characters who were in pools of blood in the yard (icing with red dye). Twas a beautiful, festive holiday scene. My sister loved it. (I also taught her to say "I cry, I sad, gimme money" as literally one of the first phrases she ever said in her life. My plan was to put her on street corners with a cup.

chuck b. said...

Awesome. Love all those details.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Those are the most amazing gingerbread houses I've ever seen! There is no way I'm going to be satisfied with a kit now. Of course those are way to beautiful to eat, which is half the fun of making a gingerbread house.

lisa said...

Wow....wow. They look like so much fun to make, as Carol said-just selecting ingredients would be an adventure. Just thinking of Benjamins' "bloody scene" gives me even more ideas...what fun!

Ilona said...

What magnificent gingerbread houses! I just love the photos.

We got the deep freeze faster than usual here in Ohio- especially those in the Lakes area. So are you going to winter things over until the January freeze? Or did you manage to get something in just before this cold front?

inadvertentfarmer said...

Those gingerbread houses and amamzing! I find myself sitting here and wondering about the patience it must take to do one of those and wondering who in the world has the time to side a house with Caption Crunch???????? Kim

Kylee said...

Doing some catch-up here!

Gorgeous gingerbread! I wonder if this lady I know that lives just east of here (Carolyn Pruden of Grover Hill) had a house there. She used to do them competitively, but I don't know if she still does or not.

The detail on those is just amazing!

Miss Canthus said...

LOVE the gingerbread houses!! Please pass along my compliments to the creator.

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