HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - At first glance, Wade Wharton seems like an eccentric individual with a penchant for unusual artwork, like a dog he made from a pick he calls "Digger."
Metal and rust combine to form the eclectic, like an alligator. Little things give him great joy.
"The most wondrous thing you ever seen - somebody gave me this shovel to make something out of it," said Wharton.
His inspirations always have a story.
"I made a mistake and left my rotor tiller out in the garden and it went to seed!" he exclaimed.
That seed now blooms tiller blade flowers in every color.
There are other sites, like chickens - driftwood combined with colorful bottles to become artwork.
Don't overlook the wrench tree with colorful branches.
There are more strange plants.
"I lost some lug nuts, and look what came up!" he said.
The flowering torque wrenches have become a thing of beauty.
Some pieces are simply fodder for good stories.
There are so many nooks and crannies in Wade's garden, and you can take time to reflect. One such place even has a guardian. The "Volkswagen Man" will look over your shoulder and make sure you're not disturbed. Yes, he is made of Volkswagen parts.
As huge dragon flies hide under plant leaves, there are splashes of color where you least expect them.
A rock, resembling a brain, is in the middle of the garden. At age 36, Wharton had a major stroke followed by two minor strokes. The artist emerged with a message to others.
"To people who've had three strokes still get up and go and do something with our lives, and they say if he can do it, I can do it," said Wharton.
His art caught the eye of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Carol Lambdin heads special projects for the organization.
"We're going to be exhibiting him in the garden for two years, and we're going to have 30 pieces. And we will have a Wade Wharton Art Trail in the Garden," she said.
Wade's love of nature and his philosophy is evident everywhere you look in Bobby's Bama.