Garden Ornaments

Last Friday I talked about trying to have a local sense of place in the garden so that all of our gardens didn’t start to look like the nearest strip mall.

Today I want to tackle another touchy subject near and dear to many of us–garden ornaments.  I live on a street where many folks have ornaments so folks are okay with that. They have mosaic glitter bird feeders, wind chimes, lots of bird baths, solar gazing balls–you get the idea. By comparison, my yard is tame with its variety of bird baths, a few feeders, a couple of bird houses, one blue glass ornament and a few saint statues, mostly tucked away out of sight.

All of the things that I and my neighbors have are relatively common. Nothing screams “this doesn’t belong in this place or this neighborhood!”

What started me thinking about this topic (other than my review of the garden books) is my drive to work. I go through a neighborhood of nicely kept ranch homes. One of them has a windmill on the lawn. It’s not an electricity-generating windmill; it’s a small mock-up of the type of windmills you’d see in the Midwest. I’m not quite sure what they are used for out there. I found a few online that were used for pond aeration. Clearly the lawn doesn’t need aeration–at least not of the sort a windmill can provide.

Another of these homes has a wishing well sort of set off the driveway. Clearly this is a neighborhood with a lot of imagination! And while a wishing well isn’t necessarily inappropriate here in New England, the pond aerating windmill has got to go–unless there’s some sort of pond I’m not seeing. But still–vernacular would be a waterfall for us, not a pond aerating windmill!

I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I’m not much of one for rules and I probably violate all sorts of rules myself, but I don’t want every place to start looking like every other place. And if we start taking what’s uniquely “New England” away and make this part of the country like every other,  what do we have left?

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2 thoughts on “Garden Ornaments

  1. I, too, sometimes wonder about some of the ornamentation I see; but as the saying goes, ‘there’s no accounting for taste’, LOL. More often, I wonder if the homeowners who have ornaments in their front yards either don’t care if the stuff were to go missing one fine night, or simply assume that people don’t do that kind of thing (they do, and in the nicest neatest neighborhoods too). That’s why pretty much the only ornamentation I have ever had in my front yard has been a Toland flag on a stand, and that is right next to the front door…. not anywhere near the street.

  2. The same people with the windmill do the most elaborate fall display–not a Halloween display but a fall display–corn stalks and pumpkins and scarecrows and gourds. We are not talking about a huge yard here but a tiny postage stamp. If there were a way to photograph it without being obvious, I would but there’s not a chance and I don’t want to photograph it only to critique it–because, after all, as I was remarking to the Spoiler just the other day, I was the first to cut down evergreens and put a flower garden in the front yard. Luckily a couple of other neighbors followed me with that. But that easily could have been seen as terribly “eccentric” or even messy since my garden is definitely not orderly but has more of a cottage garden feel.

    Again, the thing that freaks me out about their fall display is it seems so “Midwestern” to me. Perhaps that’s where they’ve re-located from. Nothing wrong about wanting to carry a piece of home with you I suppose–but as I remarked, that’s why Phoenix is no longer allergy proof. It’s a very fine line. I don’t know what side of it to be on. But I am not the ultimate judge, of course. I’m just throwing all of this out there for discussion.

    Karla

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