I am planting an altared space this year and I’d love to have your help. I have a brown thumb, so I need lots of support. In this garden, along with planting the traditional things that grow, I’m collecting treasures that tell stories. Please send me a symbol of your altared space. You can even be entered in the Friday giveaway.
I’m planting a flamingo in my garden this week. Several years ago I was on my walk and I passed a lost poster. It was a picture of a plastic pink garden flamingo and the stats of a grieving pet owner. Last seen at 49th and Jay. Please return.
That was the start of a string of practical jokes our neighbors played. A host of flamingos got planted in bushes, front lawns and on rooflines. Flamingos led to other calling cards.
We had a tomato growing contest and one contestant, who was eager to impress went to the grocery in late June, bought vine ripened tomatoes, hung them on his tomato vines and snapped a photo. He emailed the picture to our neighbors, and I wasn’t the only one to be taken in. He was, however, found out and flogged. Come harvest time we had an awards ceremony for the real winners.
The same picture-taking rapscallion owns a motion sensor camera and he hid it in the woods to capture photos of unsuspecting deer. My next door neighbor rented Chewbacca suits and danced in front of the camera toting a beer and a cigar.
The camera-owning friend went tromping through the woods to retrieve his photos of Bambi and friends that he imagined snacking nearby. He noticed footprints and remarked that, “Hunters must have been up here this week.” The look on his face as he began to view what the camera captured was priceless, especially when he got to the one where Chewie is holding up a painted sign that read, “Gotcha!”
Jokes, laughter and a few hidden tricks bind people together like the roots of a tree. I’m planting a flamingo because I don’t want to just grow green things in my garden.
I want to learn to grow a neighborhood full of zany friends who are willing to pull stunts and intertwine their lives like roots in a garden.
Do you have a way of gathering your neighbors to plant their roots near your house? I’d love it if you would help me learn about planting and gardening by sending me the altared space that keeps your community flourishing.