Tuesday, September 22, 2009
After decades of blowing covers, Diana McLellan, the dowager queen of Washington’s gossip scene, is engaged in a little cover-up of her own.
The former Washington Post columnist, Washingtonian editor, and author has got a patent pending on a “topiary trash-can topper,” a cunning faux-ivy cover-up for those ubiquitous, and wretchedly ugly trash cans, that have sprouted like tacky gnomes amid our geraniums.
The view from the living room window of Diana McLellan’s smashingly bohemian townhouse on Capitol Hill overlooks a pocket-sized brick courtyard enclosed by an ivy draped fence. There was only one problem, front and center was one of the city’s phlegm green trash cans, boldly stamped with the DC logo and the legend, “Keep it Clean” bordered by a postage stamp scallop.
“It was so depressing, darling,” the British transplant gloomed. “We used to put the garbage out back, true of a lot of people in the city. But now they pick up in the front, and you don’t want to drag your garbage from the back yard through the house.”
McLellan’s ingenious solution was to buy a 10 x 3 foot roll of PVC ivy on a strong but bendable backing, cut it to size, and lace it into a feather-light cage.
“Garbage should vanish,” she said dropping the topper over the can with the flick of a finger, demonstrating how quickly it blends with her ivy-covered fence -- faux real.
If you don't have ivy (though McLellan maintains that most people "have a patch") the goods are available in a variety of ever-greenery from a number of cheesy catalogs where it's generally displayed adorning trailer parks. Don't be abashed! This fake is a ringer for the real! At about $70 a roll it ain't cheap, but a single roll is sufficient to cover a can and once done it's eternally yours.
While McLellan would like to make a go of producing her clever covers, and is talking with www.ez-ivy.com which imports the stuff, but unlike many designers that take umbrage with knock-offs, she invites you to steal the idea.
“It’s a tea cozy for garbage!” she trilled. “Anyone can buy the crap from a catalog and do it.”