Rock and Critter Garden - Wetmore, Kansas
The Rock and Critter Garden northeast of Wetmore, Kansas is a grassroots arts environment created by retired farmer and welder Paul Fritz. Normally it is limited to viewing from Y Road, but you may be permitted to walk around the metal critters if you call ahead.
The critters include several huge ants on an ant hill, a crocodile, spiders, lady bug, and grasshoppers. There are also skeletal moose, elephant, rhinoceros, dinosaurs, and a giraffe. The critters are set in a garden with ornamental trees, flowers, shrubs and many large decorative rocks. There are a couple of metal human figures by the driveway.
Paul and Martha Fritz started working on the garden when they sold their dairy cattle in 1995 and many of the large stones come from their own land, while others have come from neighboring land, sometimes in exchange for welding. When Paul retired from welding in 2004, he began turning metal cattle fencing into arbors and a tower. The wonderful metal sculptures began in just the past few years.
The front garden covers 20 acres, but Paul and Martha's gardens continue back as far as you can see.
Kansas Grassroots, Outsider & Folk Art
copyright 2021 by Keith Stokes