After spending 17 years homeless and suffering from alcohol poisoning earlier in life, Turner had a vision of beauty which he vowed to create as part of his bid to stay sober. He rented a house and transformed the interior and the outside with flowers, toys, painted tools and other discarded objects. He travelled ten miles each day on his plastic-flower-decked Flowercycle in search of items to add to his art environment, seeing potential joy in others’ junk. He later bought a house and re-sited his collection to create one of America’s best examples of African-American yard art.
Houston’s “Flower Man”, Cleveland Turner, died peacefully in a hospice on December 1, 2013.