In the Garden:
Southwestern Deserts
July, 2001
Regional Report

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Choose the garden decor that suits you. The weathered wood handle of an old shovel pokes out from a clump of Salvia greggii.

Decorating My Garden

I'm an avid collector of "doo-dads" for my garden. I seldom buy anything designated as "garden decor". I'm more intrigued by cast-off objects and oddball pieces that make some people raise their eyebrows. For example, a fellow gardener had an old wooden-handled shovel that broke in half. It was destined for the dumpster, but I nabbed it. I sunk the wooden-handle into a garden bed, giving the illusion that we have deep, easily dug soil here in the desert. Some folks get the joke. Usually these are the same people who dig their own plant holes in our difficult soil. Other folks don't quite understand why I have a shovel handle in my garden. Garden decorating is a personal thing.

Bowling Ball Gardens

One of my favorite garden finds was a caramel colored bowling ball. I paid $5 for it at a thrift store because it "called to me" as I walked past. The color reminds me of butterscotch topping poured over ice cream. Maybe I was just hungry when I bought it? Anyway, I carted the bowling ball home and set it on top of a vase-shaped clay pot. It's my version of a gazing ball.

Pottery Anyone?

Don't get me wrong. I do have some lovely, traditional garden decor littering my beds. On a trip to Nogales, Arizona I found a stash of brightly painted pottery sun faces. I hung them along my cement block wall, so they peak out from behind the cat's claw vine. I also purchased a fantastic birdbath a few years ago on an excursion to northern Arizona. It's within view of my window as I type at the computer so I can watch my bird friends frolic outdoors. However, I'm just as happy looking at the stump with the interesting bark that I literally dragged home the other day that sits nearby.

It all goes to show you beauty and garden art is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.


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