Plant & Garden Humor: Gazebos in the Sky


Plant & Garden Humor: Gazebos in the Sky
  • Posted August 11, 2015

A few years back I trashed The Pile, a stack of gardening magazines filled with projects to tackle – someday. I then vowed to only keep properly filed plans that I would really use. Hah! I do have a few plans filed, but I hope they're printed on archival quality paper, as ghosts from The Pile now reside in my head demanding to be given first priority.


These ghosts, and their Spawn, began clamoring in the depths of winter, firing my imagination to obscene levels of excitement… the gorgeous hand laid patio of recycled glass mosaic; the twisted sculptural plant supports and garden art of recycled metals, lovingly welded by moi (uh, once I learn how to weld); the meandering path - where all the plants have hand stamped, copper tags; the woodland gazebo, hand-built, sans nails, from fallen limbs and topped with hand-crafted, shake-shingles graced with just the perfect amount of plush moss.

Oh my! It's so disgustingly utopian in its blending of nature, art and unbelievably hard work that I don't know if I should scream or cry as I wipe the drool from my delirious grin and try to blink away the daze.

Where can I find time and energy for all that? The Pile ghosts whisper “Sacrifice elsewhere in your life, and in the delightfully decorated end, Martha Stewart will have nothing on you!" Wow! It's time to cut some slack and enlist some help, beyond that for my mental issues, if I'm going to shut them up.

I'll start with a serious diet…cooking and eating are so time consuming and a full tummy interferes with bending and lifting. Plus, grocery money can fund garden projects. I'd save time and money, right from the get-go, but…my tummy's growling already. Okay, skip the diet and adopt the approach of my former neighbor.

Her yard was filled with hand-built garden décor; the flowers were always perky, colorful and…fake. Her Pile must have whispered “Forget about plants, just devote your time to cutesy garden structures and put in fake flowers. No one will notice." I certainly didn't…at least not in the first 10 seconds. Seems this is best for yards where people drive by at 60 miles per hour, not stroll by like mine. Besides, it was Former Neighbor's husband who built and installed all the yard decor while she was off leisurely shopping at the Fake Flower Market and master minding her next deception.

My hubby says, “Wait until the game is over." It's a shame our cable lines don't run underground here; one little slip of the shovel and those hour-long time spans - erroneously called the final minutes of the game - wouldn't have me on hold. A temporary fix sure, but I'm clumsy enough that my shovel could slip several weekends in a row before he got suspicious. But alas, our cable lines are not below ground, so I'd better enlist help from farther afield than the recliner.

A garden-building party, in the barn-raising tradition, seems the ultimate solution. For my non-gardening friends, working on my garden projects will give them much needed fresh air and physical activity that they have been missing out on. For the ones that do garden, a change of venue, from their garden projects to mine, will certainly give them fresh perspective and help them recharge and renew their commitment to their own projects. Hey, what are friends for? Besides, then I can add the project of incorporating custom made donor bricks, each bearing a volunteer's name, into my front walkway.

Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.


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Plant & Garden Humor: Gazebos in the Sky