There are many times in the garden when we go for functional, practical and expedient but wish that what we’ve done could be more visually pleasing. We all want the picture-perfect garden that’s worthy of being shown in Country Gardens Magazine or Fine Gardening, but we may not have the time or budget to create that look. To my mind, the answer is to turn toward whimsy. It might not get you published, but it will transform the practical into something fanciful that will make you smile.
Here’s an example. My husband, who is my partner in gardening as well as so much more, likes to put a stake at the end of our vegetable rows. These poles keep any hoses from dragging over the veggies, and reminds us that we’ve already put seeds in that particular row. Since he’s an avid recycler, Dan uses scrap lumber for these markers.
I acknowledge that these stakes are free and functional, but I long for something more visually appealing and photogenic. Neither of us has the time to devote to making these markers look like they belong in P. Allen Smith’s garden, but I realized that there is a way to improve the look by going whimsical. In my shed I had a box of tiny clay flowerpots. These were left from various sales or craft projects, and as any gardener knows this size put is pretty useless for growing plants. Turned upside down on the stakes, however, they transformed the old, recycled lumber into something more charming.
So the weekend project is to look at what you have, and consider how two very ordinary things might be combined to make something that is happily pleasing to the eye.