The Royal Chelsea Flower show always makes headlines. But one last year really caught my eye. Gnomes, those maligned imps of the garden world, were making a comeback. They’ve never really been my sort of thing but I have to admit to thinking that no garden is complete without a spot of whimsy. I have friends with pinwheels, and even a friend with Aleksandr the Meerkat in their garden, but no gnomes have made it into our circle yet.
My personal shameful preference has always been for the pink flamingo. As ludicrous in life as in plastic, they’ve always held a strange allure for me. I don’t know if it’s because I associate them with the plethora of bad 80’s movies that I watched in my youth (there was always at least one flamingo on the lawn), or if it’s just because they’re tongue-in-cheek fun now that the low brow has been elevated. But I love them. And last month, whilst we were on holiday in Dorset, I emitted a high squee of happiness at seeing one peeping out at me from the window of a tourist tat shop. Mr Garlic rescued him from his perch next to the “Kiss me quick” hats and he now occupies a place of pride next to my Buckingham Tayberry. Tacky? Yes. Kitsch? Yes. Pointless? Yes. But he makes me smile as he whirls his silly wings that get him nowhere. He’s not edible, but he’s brought some fun back into the garden.
Hello, my name is Catherine, and I have a tacky lawn ornament. What about you?