Timmerman Daugherty wanted to enjoy the garden of her small Baltimore, Maryland, townhouse all year long, but not being blessed with a green thumb, she did not want the responsibility of maintaining living, growing plants. Taking a walk one evening in 1982, she discovered a pile of rusted and beautifully shaped boiler parts in her alley and decided to convert them into fencing for “my new rust garden.”
The unusual solution surprised the self-described recovering lawyer raised with aesthetically conservative tastes. Now a self-taught artist, Daugherty learned to create mosaics and sculpture in order to incorporate her found objects into her garden design. She sometimes uses the found objects “as is” and sometimes she deconstructs them to use the parts in ways unrelated to their original design. “I am interested in combining little pieces to make something large,” she said.