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?