When I bought my old farmhouse with its many flaws one of the most visible was the huge neglected back yard. Since I am on a corner lot, my backyard is actually more like a side yard and is completely exposed to all who pass by. A surprising number of people drive and walk by on this street that runs next to my backyard because it takes them into the village or directly down to the lake. This is also a finicky village that likes to keep itself neat and attractive and has village officers who will pester you if your property starts looking neglected. So as soon as I got the interior spaces in livable order I had to tackle that backyard with its balding spots, its vole holes and its total lack of any color or interest, except for a grove of old trees which keeps the back center area of the yard too shady for gardening, but makes it an excellent spot to hang out on a hot summer day. That was when I decided to plant those spirea bushes that I go on and on about. They have a traditional connection to farmhouses and they are large enough to provide some privacy until I can afford a nice privacy fence. When my neighbor rented a rototiller and offered to till some spaces on my property if I would split the rental fee it provided me with a golden opportunity to get some flower beds going. My first bed was planted along the edge of the sidewalk that runs along the entire length of my yard. I also had him turn over a long narrow bed on the opposite side next to another neighbor’s fence as that is the only other sunny area. Last year I grew my tomatoes there but this year I am starting to add some more flowers.
Last Saturday my sister and I took a trip to Ozzie’s in Fulton, NY, a Victorian house converted to hold antiques and collectibles. I’m looking for garden accessories to perk up that garden by the fence. It’s a delightful shop that carries the findings of a number of sellers. Near the barn at the back of the property I found it, my dream accessory, which I knew I would recognize when I saw it. It ended up being an old metal baby crib with rusted springs and shabby chic pale blue chipped paint. It breaks down and goes back together easily and I couldn’t wait to see it set up in my garden and filled with flowers. I like the way it looks, but now I feel that it needs some friends, so the shopping continues, but no hurry. The dilemma I have is that I have now introduced the element of the pun into my garden, and as a writer, I am wondering if I could make a sort of pun garden. My problem is that I can’t think, offhand, of any more great garden puns to inform my future shopping trips. I am hoping inspiration will come over time. If any of you have any good garden puns to suggest, please feel free. For inspiration you have the photo of my “flower bed” which was too small to become a good “corn crib”. (Sorry.)