favorite 'groaner' gardens

whynotmi(5/6)June 15, 2007

I was reading the "why do they grow it" thread and wondered if others have "groaner" yards in their neighborhood?

My current fav is the "fairyland" yard down the street from me.

These poor folks have not a single piece of live vegetation except for a HUGE maple throwing so much shade you could develop film under it.

To make up for this lack of vegetation they've decorated the dirt with gnomes, elves, and "flowers" made from xmas twinkle lights. They have little houses for their dressed up geese, plastic squirrels, deer, the classic "leaning man with pipe" silhouette, a little "dutch" boy and girl on a swing hanging from a branch of the tree, whirlygigs, a wishingwell, a white picket fence just inside their chain link (honest, I couldn't make that up) that is festooned with pink xmas "swag" lights (all year long).

To give credit where credit is due they also make seasonal changes to the decor.

No holiday goes undocumented by these industrious folks. Leprechans, and the geese dressed as leprachans, give way to bunnies and "egg trees". Oh, and geese dressed up as bunnies with baskets of eggs attached to their bills.

After the egg trees we get the spring parade of "baby" animals. Memorial Day is red white and blue fake flowers, bunting and lights (I'm just waiting for them recreate the flag raising at Iwa Jima using the baby animals.) They take a break and leave this dispaly up through 4th of July except to dress the geese in "Uncle Sam" outfits.

In late July and August they do a "tropical" display using flamingos and those palm trees make of lights. Is that Jimmy Buffett's birthday month or something? And you guessed it, the geese wear hawaiian shirts.

Sept and Oct are fully given over to Halloween. "Ghosts" in the tree, haunted wishing well, haunted critter house, you get the picture. The geese are dressed as witches. Yikes!!! Then they bring out the pilgrims in Nov., including the pilgrim costume for the geese.

Really, what they do for Christmas is more than I can put into words. (Except, of course, to say that the geese are dressed in Santa suits.)

Even with (or because of) the gag and groan factor I have a real affection for this yard. As an act of solidarity I even have one plastic pink flamingo in my yard. Ok, in my back yard. ;^)

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I LOVE it!!! LOL I miss seeing yards like that, they always make me laugh, sometimes to the point of tears. I used to live in Bartlett, IL, which had a large number (%wise) of yards like that. I moved to a more affluent community about 15 years ago, & there isn't 1 around here that can hold a candle to them. The best of the Bartlett front yards had the obligatory donkey cart/Virgin Mary grotto pairing. My favorite featured a pair of concrete kissing frogs on a loveseat under an umbrella. Very campy. NIMBY (or front or side), but I do like to see that stuff in others' gardens. Wish I had taken pictures.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:15PM
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1. rural gardens (probably can't get away with it in town) where the old commode becomes a planter!

2. a variation on the "wheelbarrow as planter" theme where the people *bought* 2 brand-new bright red wheelbarrows & filled them with pots of nursery flowers & parked them at exactly matching angles on either side of the driveway.

3. I once saw a pineapple growing in a bathroom sink.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 3:07PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

In a nearby town in a front yard garden someone decided to build a large rock formation waterfall fountain, The poor thing is undescribably shapeless and with ugly rocks. recently Boston ivy has grown over the thing and it is still a shapeless mass and they've quit running water through it. This is the only garden fixture i've seen that i can find no beauty anywhere.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 3:49AM
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I will post a picture soon of "organic landscaping" and I just want to warn you.

I know this guy and can't believe he is still in the business. His yard is an absolute DISASTER - - but the sign's still up!!

His idea apparently was to plant everything that required no maintenance whatsoever. Of course, the weeds require no maintenance. Between the essentially invasive horticultural choices and the opportunistic invasive weeds, this is more of a "stunning blunder" than someone's error in the aesthetics department.

Now, to get that shot without setting off the Rottweilers . . .


    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 10:57AM
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I finally got a couple of snapshots. The rottweilers behind me never made a fuss but I had some problems with the camera.

I met the nearly insufferably opinionated resident of this home years ago and knew that he owned a landscaping business. I would just drive by and shake my head. The house is on a corner and I guess I'd never turned down the side street and looked into the weed-choked backyard. The sight and entire concept it evokes was just overwhelmingly bizarre and laughable. That shed has signs proclaiming "XXXX Organic Landscaping." (The signs are narrow and above the windows - I couldn't zoom in well enuf for any clarity - sorry.)

The 2nd photo is at the corner looking into the front yard. One can just barely see the outline of the house roof. The trees are aspens with 1 or 2 black locust. I doubt if the locust were intentionally planted. Three of the aspens have died and the tops of 2 are dead.

Honestly, I don't know if the yard has had any care in years - not even some water for the trees. This isnÂt the home of some disabled elder incapable of yard care  this guy is in the business of yard care!!

I'm very much in favor of organic landscaping/gardening however if this is an advertisement for the owner's job skills . . .

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 8:33PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

Steve, that truly is an amazing yard! I've heard all about those Home Owners Associations that you have in the US, where it seems to matter if you even leave a plant pot outside, or a snow shovel leaning up against the garage door (!!!) but I guess there are areas that aren;t covered by them.. lol.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 6:42PM
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I saw a house with over grown weeds and what looked like a burm garden. Realy messy but the worst is they had two big doll like people out front waving. I think one of them was life size barbie and the other was a maniken. It had a helmet on and old ratty chothes. Hidiuos.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 5:45PM
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