Work in progress

Who says you can’t do any gardening in January? Ron pulled out dead tomato vines and burned them today while I was harvesting seed from some wild morning glory vines that have been trying to take over the yard. Instead of fighting weeds, I’ve decided to embrace them wholeheartedly and use them for my own fell purposes — chief among which is the creation of a dragon.

Step one: Pound two-foot lengths of PVC pipe into the ground to act as supports for strategically placed garden stakes — a pair of three-foot plant holders with a loop at the top, and a pair of six-foot spiral stakes.

These will form the ears and horns of the dragon:

Step two: Take a can of green spray paint to some terra cotta pots. I used a pair of 10-inch azalea pots and a pair of four-inch standard pots:

Step three: Remove enough soil to half-bury the standard pots — tipped onto their sides — a few feet in front of the stakes. These will serve as nostrils:

It doesn’t really look like a dragon yet, but if you squint a little bit and think about spring, you can tell how it will look when the azalea-pot eyes are painted and installed and the whole area has been planted in false strawberry, wild morning glory, and maybe a bit of liriope:

While I was running around to various lumberyards and garden centers this afternoon, I picked up a new birdfeeder for the pergola:

I also found time to hang up the new Green Man and relocate the old one to a place of honor near the sun-face birdfeeder on the front of the garage:

(Look — magic light! Everything is prettier just before sunset….)

That’s not bird poop on the feeder; we just forgot to take it down when we were painting the garage a few years ago, and I haven’t had time to pull it down and hose it off.

Not bad for a day I’d originally planned to waste. I’ll probably spend this evening making a batch of minestrone soup, painting my dragon’s eyes, and working on my KISS Army lawn gnomes.

Have a cozy Sunday evening, wherever you are.


Meddling in the affairs of dragons

“Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”
— Bumper sticker slogan

So I’m looking at my Green Man plaque, and I start thinking about garden sculptures. This leads me to yet another Google search for photos of that fabulous Green Man sculpture at the Lost Gardens of Heligan … which, in turn, gets me thinking about how I might fashion a similar sculpture for my own backyard.

As I plot my battle plan, I start thinking about those fun stepping stones that look like an alligator surfacing from your yard, which makes me think that perhaps a dragon’s head would look even cooler than the Green Man’s face emerging from my lawn.

I start making a sketch. Eyes and nose could be sculpted out of Sackrete easily enough — but what about horns and ears? I start to draw pointy horns and realize they look an awful lot like those cheap wire obelisks you get at the garden center.

It occurs to me that it would be much easier to stick four wire obelisks into the ground and add a couple of concrete eyes than it would be to sculpt a 27-cubic-foot Chia Pet out of Sackrete.

At this point, I remember that I am lazy, so the dragon starts to sound better than the Green Man.

Then I remember that dragons breathe fire. Simultaneously, I remember that I have some latent pyromaniacal tendencies that haven’t had a real outlet since I quit bending neon tubes.

I realize abruptly that it would be easy to fashion dragon nostrils from half-buried flowerpots, into which I could insert smoke bombs and/or sparklers that would give the illusion that my dragon was actually alive and breathing fire at appropriate moments — say, the Fourth of July, or when friends come to visit.

Methinks it’s going to be a very entertaining afternoon….