Flashback Friday – The Garden Sculpture

LeAnn posted this blog on Friday, May 25th, 2018 at 6:15 am

Here’s a fun “Flashback Friday” of a blog posting from wayback on May 25, 2009.

The Garden Sculpture

You should see our new garden sculpture.

Well, actually, it’s not new — part of it is old and part of it is very old.

Last year, when we were still thinking it was possible to get digital television reception, Randy picked up an old antenna tripod that someone wanted to get rid of. Since we now know that digital television reception is out of the question here because we cannot get an antenna up high enough above the hills to snag the signal, the antenna tripod was useless. Until Randy struck upon the idea the other day of using as a structure for the pole beans to climb.

He planted the tripod in the garden Sunday. He also struck upon the idea to stick the weather vane from the church on top of the tripod. The weather vane must be nearly a hundred years old. It was on top of the steeple, and when we sided the church and fixed the steeple five years ago this summer, the weather vane had to come off the steeple. Not knowing what to do with it, Randy, who was on the building committee, brought it home and stuck it in the potato picker we have in the front yard.

So far, no one has inquired about what happened to the old weather vane. The poor thing has been shot full of holes, but it can still catch the wind and indicate wind direction. It squawks and squeaks in the wind and makes a horrible racket. But it still works. An awful lot of folks worked very hard to build the church in the early 1900s, so I’m certain there were some old-timers who weren’t too pleased that someone was shooting at the weather vane.

The potato picker is another story, of course. My father used to grow a large garden and would take the produce to farmers’ markets to sell after he retired from farming. The garden provided supplemental income for my mom and dad, and Dad thought it was great fun.

Dad used to grow some large Kennebeck potatoes. The “church ladies” would specifically come to buy potatoes for potato salad from him when they were planning the menu for a wedding reception. That was back in the “good old days” when people still had wedding receptions at the church instead making their parents shell out $10,000 to have the reception at a posh hotel. The women liked the potatoes because they were large and solid and they did not have to peel so many. If you are peeling a hundred pounds of potatoes, it apparently makes a difference if you only have to peel half as many, even if it is still a hundred pounds.

Somewhere along the line, my father borrowed a potato picker from someone. We have no idea who it belongs to. When we moved here, Randy used the 460 Farmall to pull it out of the weeds where it had been parked, and we put it in the yard, hoping that perhaps one day someone would drive by, stop in and say, “That’s my potato picker.”

We moved back here 14 years ago this summer, and so far, no one has stopped in to claim the potato picker. I have put a galvanized tub in the middle of it for flowers. Previously I grew morning glories in the tub so they could climb along the potato picker. This year I am trying an experiment and have planted peas in the tub to see what they will do. Randy stuck the church weather vane into part of the potato picker.

Anyway, Randy took the weather vane and put it into the top of the antenna tripod. Monday we planted our pole beans around the bottom of the tripod. I like to grow the dark purple pole beans. They are pretty when they are growing. And because they are purple, they are easy to see when you’re picking them. They also can get fairly large before they turn tough. When they’re cooked, they turn green.

God-willing, we will get enough rain for the garden to grow. I’m not too worried about the peas I have planted in containers and the pole peas I planted in the east side yard instead of the morning glories I used to plant there. And the tomato plants down by the basement. And the lettuce in tubs. I can water those things. But the rest of the garden is more difficult to water. So far, I have one pail and one tub under the barn eaves to catch water if it ever rains.

I will, of course, water the pole sugar snap peas in the garden and the pole beans. We dig a shallow trench, bury the bottom of a wire basket in the trench, and mound dirt up around the outside so there is a “watering hole” in which to pour water so it soaks down to the roots and doesn’t run off. I like the pole peas and beans because they are an efficient use of space and because they are easier to pick.

I am looking forward to seeing what the garden sculpture looks like with pole beans climbing it!

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