Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ugly Garden Five or Perhaps Six

I have been planning to write about this garden for several years.

And why you might ask.

I pass it near daily on my schlep to Eastern Market to get coffee and whatnot.  It is too irritating to ignore.

However, each time I whip out my camera one of the denizens pops out and gives me the evil eye, like they're lurking behind the door for the Ugly Garden bloggist to appear. And there I am.

So I pretend to be otherwise engaged, fiddling with my lens, casually humming to myself while shooting pictures of tree branches or the sidewalk, or examining the sole of my flip flop for dog crap and then sidling on by.

This morning I win! I decapped my lens a block away and tip toed forth, whipping the camera up and snap snap. Triumph!

The thought behind an ugly garden is always most interesting. This patch was clearly designed to look this way.  A severely listing rusted mailbox announces the garden's entry. A line of rocks edge a bricked path from the gate to the front door and trim the base of the chain link fence that surrounds the yard.  A fence painted an effortful white, by the way.

Bricks also surround brick-colored patches of mulch and form a platform for a child's turtle shaped sandbox that stares balefully through the links. Poor kid.

Appropriately, a pair of hazard cones stand like giant petrified candy corn along the alley fence.

I believe this would be known as the hardscaping.

As for greenery, there's an impish fringe of weed along the path and fence line and a pot of dusty looking zinnias (I think) beside the front door. Dirty white plastic window boxes sit empty on the windowsills.

On a somewhat more positive note, there are rose colored plastic chairs planted next to the house.

As I may or may not have previously pointed out, a vividly colored chair or pot or umbrella can brilliantly stand in for flowers when the flowers are, for whatever reason, not.  Like now, when most gardens and residual gardening enthusiasms left over from spring are fast fading (Note how I artfully added that "s" to enthusiasm, cleverly obscuring my ignorance about is's and are's).

Generally, however, this trick works best when there's  a spot of green around.

For example:

Or this:

Curiously, there's a rather handsome looking Chinese screen filling the home's bay window,  completely obliterating the garden view, as if even the perpetrators of this dismal plot can't stand more than a wincing glance at their creation.

Or...maybe it was deliberately designed for tax evasion purposes --  a sleight of sight obscuring a miniature Versailles?

I could discuss my old neighbor Dr. Bruce and the dump he perpetrated on his neighbors, but I won't


  1. AH! A creative writing assignment!
    Write about this as if it was a home for sale and you had to do the marketing material.
    Please post.

  2. I think it's an excellent example of brutalist gardening. It was designed to look hideous therefore is fabulous. I'm sure the smug occupants smirk gleefully whenever the uninitiated walk by grimacing.

  3. Gracias Casa Mariposa. You are so right. If it was intentional it is indeed fabulous. Brutalist gardening! Will dig for further examples.

  4. It's probably Modern Art and we don't understand. That fence is hideous! I am sorry to hear you have to look at it every day.

  5. Claire -- I thank you for your concern for my tender sensibilities. I suppose I could change my route to the market...but then I'd have nothing to talk about.


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