In this day of online everything I still like to receive magazines in the mail. I am talking about paper products with loads of images on every page. I like to sit at night with a cup of hot tea and flip through the pages or take them out to the porch if it is sunny and warm. In my mind I can see my mother and grandmother giving a quick lick to one of their fingers to “catch” the page and make it turn smoothly. Have you ever noticed that one absolutely cannot lick their finger and make their phone screen turn to the next page? So unsatisfying.
This time of year I flip through my gardening magazines and envision an orderly landscape flowing around the cats, the dog, the trampoline, the bicycles, the soccer balls, and the raised garden beds. I see perfectly manicured beds full of bee enticing flowers swaying in the wind with a small chime doo-dad tinkling in the background. I see hugely expensive pots overflowing with luscious plants standing at attention in front of the new garden shed/greenhouse structure which is color coordinated and totally inviting to all but the snakes.
Snakes do not fit into any of my garden scenarios. Absolutely NOT. One never sees a snake slithering across the carefully manicured lawns and beds on the magazines pages as they do in real life, but then my tomatoes are never quite as fat or red as the ones in the magazines either. Neither do I have hugely expensive pots to lure folks down the garden path. In fact I don’t have a path yet, even though I got a bid for one two summers ago.
Garden paths and garden plans are uncertain this time of year. Not because of cost but because in real life, gardens and snakes often go together. It was warmish for a few days last week and somehow the cats delivered two little snakes to the front porch with their heads chomped off. One of the boys said that he thought they wiggled out from the BEE garden. I so had hopes for the BEE garden this summer, but I might just have to sit on the porch and flip through my house magazines if there are tiny snakes in my BEE garden.
The thick, color-saturated Pottery Barn tomes are my favorite house magazines. The rooms are beautiful. The furniture is beautiful. Everything is just perfect. Huge jars siting on dust-free tables full of pebbles and pine cones and fake flowers and it all looks so sophisticated and perfect. Not just one basket in a room but about thirty all full of stuff. Sometimes they are full of thick, oversized towels – matching the rugs and shower curtains of course – and sometimes they are full of fake flowers in amazing colors, or they are full of things I never thought I needed.
I diligently study each page and then I plan layouts that would work in our current home and garden and come to the conclusion that… 1) I need a house about five times the size of my current house, 2) my husband will need three or four more jobs, 3) I will need seven full time gardeners, and 4) it will only take about three hundred years of savings to have both. Of course, by then snakes might be extinct and baskets will be outlawed because they are made of some kind of exotic natural fiber that can only be grown in a 2 acre plot on top of mount whatever. Come to think of it I most certainly will be extinct by then so I don’t really need to worry about it.
I toss my magazine in the trash and decide that my BEE garden is really big enough. I mean bigger might mean more snakes. Right? And the quilt pieces and scraps covering every surface in the living room lends a nice touch. Right? I could put away the ironing board but it is ever so handy as a spare table and besides I bought a new “country” cover for it just two years ago. I did manage to find some baskets at the antique store to stack beside my old pickle crocks AND I bought some fake flowers at Hobby Lobby on the 50% sale last week. Forsythia stalks.
On an outdoor walkabout, I noticed that all of my hydrangeas from last year are coming back AND that the cats have quit using my large garden pots as bathroom facilities. Probably because they now prefer the BEE garden for their daily dig and that is precisely why, I am sure, that the snakes’ heads were chomped and their slithery remains removed to my front porch. I talked the teen into sweeping them into the bushes so I could flip through the latest magazine on the front porch without seeing a dead snake rockin in and out of my vision.
At the end of the day I toss all of the magazines in the trash. I enjoyed looking at them but I can’t have them lying about cluttering up the place. Besides, I use that ironing board nearly every day!