Friday, June 24, 2011


In someone's eyes this garden is a twinkle. Could it be the result of a homeowner with a craving for acres of space? It is such a small wedge of a corner plot; and such a grand example of twee. 

Arch and Outhouse
A gravel path lined with neatly tended miniature succulents wends its way through the tableau, passing tiny stone mushrooms and fallen pillars and a little fountain planted with bits of green stuff and finally arriving at a frilly white metal arch, besides which sits an outhouse. Perhaps for a visiting fairy that can't depend on her Depends.  

The Cafe
Tucked back a bit, a dwarf fir tree forms the backdrop for a doll-house sized cafe table and chairs. Maybe that's why the fairy needs a latrine.

Hovering above the scene are barred windows underslung with window boxes spilling over with a never-changing display of polyester and plastic greens and flowers. You'd need a ladder to reach the windows. Perhaps the bars are to keep something in?
100% Polyester and Plastic
I am about to attempt to demonstrate some sensitivity here--unlike my usual ugly garden rants--perhaps because I've been employing odds and ends of this and that along with fake flowers and plants in my garden and window boxes...since I began gardening. 

(There are days, sometimes weeks, when I just don't care to tend to things and then these things turn brown and shrivel and die, see. So...) 

Le Gnome
In addition to a jungle of real stuff, my ridiculously overstuffed back garden has a couple of  mirrors and a giant fake fan palm, several broken statues, and an umbrella stand. I have been known to spray paint dead foliage and tie fake lilies on stalks after the real blooms die off.  My window boxes have plastic boxwood and fauxberries mixed in with the real ivy and geraniums and potato vines and other shrubbish.

Where do I come off making fun of this atrocious fairyland? A plot that I imagine being tended by a woman gracefully flopped down in a Laura Ashley dress, cooing to the ants in her large straw sun bonnet; frosted pink toenails peeping out of her pastel Pappagallos. She probably pats the gnome that sits beside the front door as she heads out armed with nail clippers for pruning...

And, given the neighborhood, she's probably a judge or a doctor or something else all burnished with degrees. (I really hope this is a woman, though I do not know why).

There's a whole category of display at the Philadelphia Flower show that involves such miniature mixes of plants and teensy furnishings. People win prizes for them. People pay money to see them. I took photos of several (and not as a joke).
Philadelphia Flower Show

So what is it about this neighborhood garden that's makes me feel like I'm chewing on tin foil?


  1. I can see disliking the window boxes and the gnome, but you have to admit that little cafe set is hilarious in a happy way.

  2. I find it charmingly adorable!


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