Upgrading garden centrepieces

If you’re able to get enough keyboards you can make an entire pathway that springs beneath your feet

WE have all seen those cottage gardens with a nicely placed wooden wagon wheel resting peacefully amid the flowers and shrubs.

Or maybe the old rusty horse-drawn plough that’s found an ornamental new home in the middle of a veggie patch.

On rare occasions, you may even see an old lynching noose, gracefully hanging from a post to help provide a creative touch to the staghorn fern.

Old machinery and items of nostalgia have long been used within garden settings to bring interest to an otherwise passé green canvas struggling to maintain the interest of the gardener who thought it would be a good idea to invest heavily in landscaping, but whose interest soon waned once he got broadband Internet onto the house and discovered he could watch as many Laverne and Shirley re-runs as possible.

It is getting harder and harder to get hold of old farming implements to put into a garden.

We are increasingly hearing of reports of underground garden traders who slip onto family farms in the dead of night to make away with their Fordson steel-wheeled tractor, piece by piece.

Antique machinery enthusiasts have become reluctant to set up stalls at the local show for fear that should they turn their backs for a minute to replace the Thermos lid, they will return to find their steam-powered corn sheller missing, only to see it a few weeks later holding several pots of daisies in the front yard of the house down the street.

Modern gardeners should be embracing modern living. The machinery of the recent past should become the garden features of today.

Think about how old video players might make some graceful garden stairs, or how your first dial-up modem could become the newest patio pot stand.

One of the easiest conversions is to turn that foot spa you got for Christmas ’93 into a pond. Lined up and interspersed with those refillable water coolers, you’ve got an impressive water feature.

If you’re able to get enough keyboards you can make an entire pathway that springs beneath your feet as you walk on it.

What a novelty to impress visitors, especially the one who wears that Dr Who T-shirt.

Native animals and birds are attracted to places where they can set up nests, burrows or their equivalent of time-share apartments.

As a general rule, possums enjoy computer casings and hollowed-out speakers, while bandicoots and sugar gliders are more attracted to popcorn makers.

Birds on the other hand enjoy the fine wiring within video game consoles. It is certainly breathtaking to see a family of young magpies lining their nest with the innards of a first generation X-Box.

Let’s all start to redefine what it means to have a machinery centrepiece in your garden.

Could you be the first person in your neighbourhood to have a retaining wall made from iPads?

Tip of the Month: The next time you have to adjust your television aerial, tie two long bits of rope to it, running down opposite sides of the roof. When your TV reception needs further adjusting in the future, just give these a tug. Thinking!

DISCLAIMER: The information within this column is of a satirical nature and therefore the advice within should not be heeded. All views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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18/02/2014 3:17:32 PM

Hi Gherkin, Thanks so much for the hot tip! It's so hard to stay up with modern gardening techniques nowadays - what with LED water features and those kooky, bee murdering GMO crops - who knows what they'll think of next!? I reckon by 2015 we'll be heading to our local appliance store instead of Bunnings! Anyway mate, great to see you back on the scene. I guess I'll go dust off my Nintendo 64...the monotone husk will compliment my petunia patch wonderfully!
Better Backyards with Gherkin JarvisSelf-proclaimed gardening expert and carpet enthusiast, Gherkin Jarvis, brings you his thoughts on Australia’s great lifestyle tradition, the backyard.


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