Garden ornaments. How many do you have? If your answer is “More than one”, you’re my kind of person. You see, ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by concrete toadstools, swans, frogs, donkeys, kangaroos and everything else that lends itself to being cast in cement and chucked on the lawn. I’m not really sure why, but I figure it might have something to do with the fact we never had anything whacky in our garden…. unless you count the fish pond; But it really wasn’t that exciting. Most of the time, the fish got eaten by birds – a situation that could have been avoided if we’d bothered to buy a garden gnome to keep an eye on things.
I grew up in Tasmania, which is the garden ornament capital of Australia. To be honest, I just made that up, but back in the day there seemed to be a hell of a lot them around. I have fond memories of going out on family drives each Sunday and spying all sorts of delights along the way. If we took the Brooker Highway, I would crane my neck just to get a glimpse of the donkey that was perched outside one of the clinker brick houses near the Hobart showgrounds. It always had colourful flowers growing in it.
Sometimes as a special treat, we’d travel north on the old road from Claremont to Bridgewater. Houses along this route were wild. One place had a giant concrete aboriginal standing on one leg, holding a spear; Very un-PC. Another had a fence made out of chains (painted white),a pebble lawn and – this is my favourite part – two tyre swans. Heaven!
Many years later, I’m still nuts for this junk. Infact my obsession was revived recently when I came across something I’d never seen before: a planter Pelican. I’d always been in love with swans, but a PLANTER PELICAN!
My stars! As I entered the shop, I knew I was going to buy it. It didn’t matter what the price tag was; I needed it in my life….to add to the unicorn, the snail, the frogs, the turtle, the swan….
Yep. I now have that garden I dreamt of as a kid. Its incredibly stupid and the neighbours think I’m mad, but let me tell you, there is nothing better than pulling into the driveway after a hard day at work to see a big concrete pelican sitting proudly on your porch with flowers and foliage poking out of its back.
The silliest things in life are often the best.