by Jill Nokes and Pat Jasper
introduction by Betty Sue Flowers
photographs by Krista Whitson
University of Texas Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-292-71679-7 | eISBN: 978-0-292-73531-6
Library of Congress Classification SB473.5.N65 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 712.609764


Relatively few people in America build their own homes, but many yearn to make the places they live in more truly their own. Yard Art and Handmade Places profiles twenty homemakers who have used their yards and gardens to express their sense of individuality, to maintain connections to family and heritage, or even to create sacred spaces for personal and community refreshment and healing. Jill Nokes, an authority on native plants and ecological restoration, traveled across the state of Texas, seeking out residents who had transformed their yards and gardens into oases of art and exuberant personal expression. In this book, she presents their stories, told in their own words, about why they created these handmade places and what their yard art has come to mean to them and to their communities.

Rather than viewing yard art as a curiosity or oddity, Nokes treats it as an integral part of home-making, revealing how these places become invested with deep personal or social meaning. Yard Art and Handmade Places celebrates the fact that, despite the proliferation of look-alike suburbs, places still exist where people with ordinary means and skills are shaping space with their own hands to create a personal expression that can be enjoyed by all.

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