Felder Truck and Garden Art


Some folks get it, some don’t. Others paint it.

My old truck with the garden in the back has been driven to countless flower shows and events across the eastern half of the US. It has been featured in magazines, online sites, garden books, and on NPR programs. It still drives fine, and the garden still flourishes through heat and cold, year in and year out, with only twice-a-year replacement of a handful of seasonal annuals.

The antique truck is better known than I am. Over the thirty or so years I’ve had it, it has been through many makeovers. Its current, cheery form has been preserved on film – as a result, people often call out a greeting while I’m driving through Jackson.


Some years ago, a neighbor gave me a painting of the truck, a detail of which is above. Recently it has been put to more canvas by celebrated artists: water colorist Wyatt Waters, my own daughter Zoe Pearl Rushing of Dimebox Art and feather artist Elaine Maisel of Feathermore.

Wyatt Water's watercolor of Felder's Truck with a garden in the back
Feldertruck by Wyatt Waters

Painted as a contribution for NPR affiliate Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s fundraiser, old friend Wyatt knocked this masterpiece out in my own driveway.

Feldertrruck Feather by Elaine Maisel
Feldertruck on a feather by Elaine Maisel

I met Elaine Maisel at an art lecture I was presenting and was amazed to find her displaying this incredible rendering of my truck and me (in the guise of a bird) on a turkey feather.

Feldertrruck Feather by Elaine Maisel
Elaine Maisel detail

Elaine explained how the individual barbs of a feather hold together well enough to support her delicate brushstrokes. Which of course are more than teensy!

Felder's Green Truck with bottle trees by Zoe Pearl Rushing
Felder’s Green Truck by Zoe Pearl Rushing

I persuaded my daughter Zoe, better known for her work as a commissioned pet and people portraitist, to stroke a whimsical rendering of my truck, again, to support an MPB drive time appeal.

The truck painting will eventually form part of a father/daughter book collaboration about heirloom potted plants and vernacular yard art.

My thanks to all these artists – and to the many folks who send me photos they have taken of themselves beside my funky old truck all around the country.


Felderyard entry with artisan gate, glass sculpture., and ceramic flowers
Felderyard entry with artisan gate, glass sculpture, tire planters, and ceramic flowers

While I’m thinking about art, here are just a few examples of yard art from my own garden, all made by members of the Mississippi Craftsmen Guild. I will be visiting with them at the annual Chimneyville exhibition, on this weekend at the Trademart Building (state fairgrounds, Jackson Mississippi), one of my favorite annual events. If you can make it, be sure to say hey to those who specialize in garden art and crafts!

Scroll over each photo for its caption.

Pickenpaugh Pottery
Pickenpaugh Pottery
Andrew Young glasswork
Andrew Young glasswork
Larry Strayer Miniature Bottle Tree
Larry Strayer Miniature Bottle Tree

As one of my landscape professors Neil Odenwald was fond of pointing out, “Every good garden – every one – should have art work that is personal, says something about who you are…”  And obviously I am of the home-made ilk who, lacking personal artistry skills, appreciates others who help me express myself better in my garden!

The Craftsmen Guild is holding its holiday exhibit and sales at the Mississippi Trademart Building Fri-Sun, December 6-8. Here are a couple of shots I took there during show set-up on Thursday.

Toilet Float Bat
Toilet Float Bat
R.P. Funderburk Birdhouses
R.P. Funderburk Birdhouses

8 Replies to “Felder Truck and Garden Art”

  1. Those are great paintings of the Feldertruck. I love all the garden art and sculptures, also. I have a 1982 Ford F-100 that has seen a lot of interesting places during its lifetime. It pretty much only gets used for gardening, sort hauls, and moving stuff about these days.


    1. Thanks Peggy – I have had SO MUCH fun planting and showing off the LGT (Little Green Truck) you created!
      Email me about your trip from Oklahoma to England…


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