Grassroots Art Center

Capidro, A Garden of Concrete Ideas

by Phil Pasquini

BFA and MFA in Sculpture, from the San Francisco Art Institute


The inspiration for this fantasy garden came about in 1932 through a personal tragedy when the young son of gardener John Guidici drowned in a backyard pond. Despondent and upset Guidici decided to fill in the pond with cement. Before the cement had time to set, Guidici began decorating it by pressing rocks, shells and other broken bits of materials that he had at hand to embellish the otherwise bland surface. What started out as a simple project soon evolved into a huge backyard environment that eventually covered the entire property. When I first visited the site in 1985 his daughter related to me how her mother was continually on guard as her father was always taking things from the house to use in his ever-growing environment. Guidici was also never allowed to wash dishes as he had a habit of breaking them and then adding the shards to his creation.