Concrete doesn’t wilt

There is this awkward end of life thing. And soon, for our viewing enjoyment, we will watch the death of all the plants we worked so hard to foster. Because autumn is coming. Unless you are someone living in the portion of our sweet planet where you are facing lovely spring! But I am up North and the gardens are going to seed and thinking of retiring.  At least for a few long months.

hollyhock seeds

I hate  “last” things. The last blooms of summer, the last cucumber, the last day before your child goes off to college, the last time you drive your old car before trading it for something else. It is just sad and I hate sad. I try to avoid it. (Who’s in charge here anyway? Me.)


We shall refocus.

To fortify you against the coming losses, here is something in my garden that doesn’t change. Not a plant, but still.

This is Flora. (I name stuff.)

garden statue

I thought I would grow something adorable in Flora’s basket but I found it was impossible to keep it from going dry and Flora carrying a dead plant was less than adorable so I leave it empty. (Next year, I’m thinking of shells & agates.)  She has been here maybe three years now; she is a little less than life-size. When she first arrived in the garden Max barked and barked at her, odd for him. He couldn’t figure out if she was a person or what. (We still don’t know.)

Flora the garden statue

Last spring I found Flora lying on her face on the ground. (I feared it was a case of depression.) It took Mr O and me both to lift her back to her feet, and other than a little dirt she appeared unharmed. Some shovel work revealed that a gopher had tunneled underneath her and undermined her stability. (It happens all of us at times.) So we squished everything back down and Flora was fine. She may have had a headache or something I don’t know but she looked okay.

garden statueI bought Flora with money made selling plants at a Saturday market one summer. I love statuary but really my casual gardens are hardly up to it. Still Flora has been assimilated by the ferns and the trees– she has taken on a bit of a green cast in places herself.

view from the scaffoldThis is the view from the top of the painting scaffold on the east side of my house. The arrow points toward Flora– she is back under that little privat tree. On the ground you can see the afternoon shadow of the tall house. (This was taken in June when everything was green and not dying and deer-eaten and tired.)

OK those are all the positive words you get. Really I must complete the little remaining bit of house painting and get the basil pesto made and gather seeds and etc etc.  I hate to mention it but I bet you need to do some stuff too… Chop the wood, patch your roof, conjugate your verbs! Fall is coming!


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in stuff for your garden that isn't plants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Concrete doesn’t wilt

  1. kininvie says:

    Dear Linnie – looks as though you’ve got the autumn blues…..

    Linquenda tellus et domus et placens
    uxor, neque harum quas colis arborum
    te praeter inuisas cupressos
    ulla breuem dominum sequetur.

    I like the bit about not being able to take your trees with you, apart from the hateful cupressos. And later, Horace goes on about how your heir will drink all your fine wines and spill the best on the floor…..Just how I feel now and again.

    Cheer up: next year your sunflowers will be just wonderful. And the clematis cuttings will flower.

    Also – Autumn is an ideal time to embark on a Twitter crime novel.

    • linniew says:

      Well Kininvie I might call it more end of summer blues. In truth I love autumn, when the leaves actually begin to fall.
      It’s Horace who sounds really depressed here, but probably it’s the voice of wisdom. (I do like to hope my children would drink the wine and not spill much.)

      You sense that I haven’t given up my sunflower quest, and you are right!

      As to the Twitter crime novel, it’s a plan! Ready when you are– Ides of September? Autumn equinox? Halloween?

  2. Flora adds so much to your garden–not only with her statuesque self but with her adventures as well. 🙂

  3. NHGarden says:

    I enjoyed Flora’s tale. Interesting how well hidden she is from the overhead view. She is beautiful in your garden!

  4. Chad B says:

    I loved the title of this post and the body of the post didn’t let me down. Thanks for the peek into Flora’s life in your garden.

  5. GirlSprout says:

    Hmm, I wonder if some hens and chicks would work in Flora’s basket. You might ask her. Nice aerial view of your garden.

    • linniew says:

      That is an excellent suggestion– Thanks! And I even have some growing that I could divide– I will give it a try. I really hate the empty basket…

  6. Alberto says:

    I think you already know how envious I am about your ferns, I am not sure if you know how envious Tillie should be about Flora’s figure…

    Anyway I hate ‘last time things’ too, so last sunday I eradicated my cherry tomatoes before they die. They were colonized by baby green stinky bugs (I couldn’t find the english name) still bearing a lot of tomatoes though but the smell and taste wasn’t the same.

    I like the sweeping picture of your garden.

    • linniew says:

      Yeah Mr O thinks Flora is cute too. Too bad about the tomatoes. Mine are just now ripening at last.

      Wish I could send you some ferns– and shade for them. Your garden is so beautiful though Alberto you must be very pleased with it!

  7. gagarden says:

    Really fun post Linnie, I enjoyed your tale of Flora. I hope she is feeling better now, a fall in the garden can be quite embarrassing for such a stately woman such as her.

    • linniew says:

      Yes we are really quite fortunate that Flora is not a two-part garden statue now… I think you are right, she was embarrassed when she tipped over, but she seems to have put it out of her mind, and she’s enjoyed all the attention from being online.

  8. A lovely shady lady! Flora is retiringly elegant in her setting. Her basket would make a good goal for throw the ball games when you, Tillie and Max have nothing better to do. Otherwise the decor could be seasonal basket – nuts in autumn, pine cones in winter etc.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Laura–I appreciate your ideas about Flora’s basket! The pine cones sound especially festive. Perhaps pine cones for winter and then I may try GirlSprout’s idea about growing the hens & chicks plant next summer… The ball game could be fun too but Tillie always cheats.

  9. TufaGirl says:

    Flora has a lovely job. An occasional earthen facial may prove refreshing. Glad she is well.

    • linniew says:

      I will give Flora your regards– All this attention has her feeling quite important. (I hope it will somehow keep her on her feet through winter.)

      We both appreciate your visiting here Tufagirl!

  10. b-a-g says:

    It’s said that people get pet dogs that are images of themselves. Is the same true of statues ?

    • linniew says:

      Oh you dear person, b-a-g! Alas, I am afraid my tousled Westie is more my image than lovely Flora. Except Flora and I DO both trip and fall over sometimes– but that’s probably not the similarity you meant.

  11. Lyn says:

    Flora is really lovely. And now, instead of taking your subtle hint and going out to work in my garden, I’m going to read some of your previous posts…

  12. Nell Jean says:

    Sedum acre works in my concrete rabbit’s basket. If you can improvise a little plastic container that will fit Flora’s basket, the plants will last longer. I’m thinking some kind of plastic jug cut down. Duplicates will mean you can switch out a sad plant for a fresh one.

    Hints of Fall mean to me that it’s time to pot up the prettiest specimens to bring inside. When frost hits, I’ll cut the uglies to the ground and leave tall grasses to wave while I go inside for tea.

    • linniew says:

      I am impressed with all the great suggestions I’ve received for filling Flora’s basket! Your idea of lining the concrete with something plastic would surely help keep in the water–! And going inside for tea is always an excellent plan when the weather goes cold. Thanks Nell Jean.

  13. Roberta says:

    I came expecting a fair update and possibly seeing a photo of the Pronto Pup but this post did not disappoint. Flora is indeed a lovely guardian, it makes me wish for statuary but I feel it needs an enclave. I don’t care for exposed statuary in a dead and barren landscape such as the one I tend. I have only one green spot left in the yard, a clump of lemongrass that I grew from seed. I sprinkled it all around our Buddha statue; it has entirely enveloped the fat man!

    • linniew says:

      It makes me so happy to think of your Texan Buddha! I hope he is fat and happy like the one the Plant Goddess has in her garden here. (That lemon grass didn’t dare not grow for the sweet Buddha!) The state fair post is coming, stay tuned–

  14. Greggo says:

    Fall comes tomorrow. A norther. Awesome, will drop 30 degrees with 30 mph wind from the north. Niceeeee. I began fall duties today. After bragging about my hollyhocks and how pure the leaves were, the dreaded rust miester appears. So I had to shovel prune and remove leaves all over the garden. Oh well. I’ve taken a few facials myself. However mine were self inflected.

    • linniew says:

      Yes the season is definitely turning Greggo. We have sun but chilly mornings and the comforter is back on the bed! I love the changing seasons, but it makes me feel a bit unprepared. Let me know if you want pink hollyhock seeds to try, I have them.

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