You wander around the garden centres and see a lovely pot or a great sculpture, take a look at the price tags, whistle through your teeth and wish it was half, or perhaps a quarter of the price.
Well, bargains can be had, try reclamation yards as they often have interesting bits and pieces. As many of their customers are looking for pieces for building, looking around with a gardener’s eye can get you interesting items to place in the garden at a low price – even what looks like a pile of bricks could be made into a small folly, just enough for a corner that looks like aged building can add to a flower bed that needs something different to liven it up.
And you don’t necessarily have to throw out old pots either. We had a greg pot on the patio that fell and the top was chipped, it now sites in a bed, half buried at an angle and the chip in the top goes along with its placement and looks fine to me.
So, to Bernadette. She was on eBay – I often look on eBay but the skill is not to get bidding for those items that everyone else is going for – be patient and you can grab a bargain. I saw Bernadette and sadly for the seller, no-one had bid for her – so in the last 30 seconds I put in a bid at the starting price (£30) and snapped her up. She’s over a metre high (3 feet) and though she probably won’t live in the grass forever, that’s where she is now. I took out part of the turf to be able to place a paving slab where the top is just under the height of the surrounding grass and there she sits.
One great thing about her is that she is already weathered, no doubt she was a bit bright when first bought, but now she’s older like all of us. OK, so she’s lost a bit of an arm, well that no doubt put other people off buying her, but we’re none of us perfect. One friend said “all she needs is a bit of a scrub up”, I’m not sure if that was meant as a joke, but “Nooooooo” – she’s better as she is, the dark patches of lichen etc all add to her beauty, emphasise her shape and show her age like an old wine bottle – “you’re paying for that dust, don’t clean it off!” Let her mellow further and be careful not to destroy her beauty by over-zealous cleaning.
I have been asked “Why Bernadette?” – I’ve no idea really, it came to me as I drove her home – and I wasn’t listening to the Four Tops at the time, she just whispered in my ear “Call me Bernadette”, so I do.