Thursday, February 10, 2005

Oh, Dem Bones

One just cannot be taken really seriously as a gardener without thinking and talking frequently about garden "bones". Now I will confess sheepishly that I actually got drawn into an argument between two friends, debating about just what constitutes garden bones (some are "softscapers", who include trees and shrubs, some are "hardscapers", including only structural items like gates and statues). It's all a bit silly, but I do rather have a thing about statues and gates. The front gates to our garden, shown below, are called the Sun Gates. Our friend Dennis made them for us as a gift; the first gates he had made. One long, dark Winter, his beautiful wife, Jane, was found to have developed a small breast cancer, and had to undergo surgery, radiation therapy, then chemotherapy. Dennis stayed very closely by her side, so there were a lot of long evenings at home for him while she rested, and he needed something to do, and took up making garden gates and arbors. Jane is fine now, and every morning when we open the Sun Gates wide to enter the garden, we are reminded of the preciousness of life and friendship. Also taking up residence in the garden is the lovely angel, Hernia, so called because that's what I think I got moving her. She weighs 350 pounds, and once I found a nice concrete base (seen in the picture) for her and started to wiggle her up onto the base. Sitting on a slope, she started to tip over into my arms, and all I could picture is what the newspaper would say when my body was found,crushed under this angel... I knew my friends would say it was expected and probably long overdue. The third picture shows my prize: a life size gargoyle, with wings outstretched. It sits at the end of a path,under a thorny locust, making a really nice conjunction. I call him "Uboughtwhat" because that's what my wife said when she found out what I'd bought. Never go off with your buddies, all with beers in your hands, to wander about a Renaissance Fair where they are selling garden statues.I want a little verse to put under him, but may have to write my own; the best published verse I could come up with is by Emily Dickinson: "They'll judge us,How? You serve God, or seek to... I could not." That seems a little glum for a garden, especially as my wife is already a little spooked by the gargoyle.

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