Add some humour to your garden


Laughing is healthy for everyone, but not everyone has a good sense of humour. Or perhaps I should say, the right kind of humour at the right time. My sense of humor is mostly at its best when I’m around good friends, in a safe and comfortable environment. That’s probably why I’m so impressed by people who can make anyone laugh, in any situation, and have them almost eating out of their hands. Fortunately, having ‘an eye and feel for that which is funny’ is, according to the Van Dale dictionary, also defined as humour, so, I just happily laugh along.

To add some humour to your garden, be sure take your time about it. First, get some inspiration from gardening books, online, even in your own street or at your next holiday destination. Then, the action phase follows, which sometimes, may seem anything but funny at the time.

Laughing with boxwood

I once let myself go mad whilst trimming a boxwood.  Using a tiny secateurs, I intended to transform it into a bear. Having no idea of what I was doing, and aparrently, terribly allergic, my hands were soon covered in blisters and sores. The boxwood didn’t look that great either. According to my neighbour, who was casually observing my struggles and ‘mild’ irritation from the comfort of his lazy garden chair, it was great fun indeed. Nowadays, he calls me the Ivy Stylist when he sees me. That says enough, right?!

If you, like me, are also a complete topiary novice, then pay a visit to your local garden centre, where you can buy boxwood plants that have already been shaped around a solid wire frame. You can even get them in various animal forms. Then, when your boxwood grows, just ‘trim back’ all of the branches and leaves to just above the wire mesh. Ideal for me! However, if you do decide to try it yourself, remember to use a sharp pruning shears, as that causes the least damage to a boxwood and with it, you’ll be able to create some really clean lines.

A shedload of fun for everyone

Often, your shed ends up being a focal point in your garden, even when you really don’t want it to. Of course, you can always put lots of plants around it to try and ‘disguise’ it, but that doesn’t really work on the shaded side(s). Instead, you (or someone you know) could draw funny pictures on the walls. But first, try perhaps drawing it out with chalk to see if you like it, before making it more permanent with paint or graffiti cans. You could also saw some shapes out of old wood and attach them to the wall. With a little bit of colour and a hint of imagination, you can transform a once boring wall into a true feast for the eyes.

That funny photo you have of that moment when you were pushed into the water by your friends, when your kids were smeared with birthday cake, or when your dog was running scared from the neighbours’ cat, will come in really handy now. Get one printed on a weather-proof canvas, hang it up on your shed wall or on your fencing, and you’ll always be sure of having a fun topic of conversation whenever you have visitors over.

Art and kitsch

Naturally, there’s a wide range of funny garden ornaments on sale, but mostly, they can be pretty pricey. Check out second-hand classifieds sites online, or browse around a few local jumble sales. Whether it’s a masterpiece or not that you bring home, every eye-catcher needs its own space. Therefore, don’t go squashing it in between your garden furniture and storage areas; give it a spacious area surrounded by some low planting. As you may have read in my previous blog, ‘What colours can do for your garden’, brightly coloured plants attract the most attention. So, be economical in your use of them near your garden ornaments.

Garden gnomes are famous for their wide smiles and crazy poses. Their fans just can’t get enough of them, as after getting one, mostly, more are sure to follow. But you can get creative, too! On the internet, I searched for ‘Make a funny garden ornament’ and it came up with a whole host of ideas. From textile hardeners to workshops with concrete. It all looked so inspirational. Find out if there are any workshops being held in your local university or neighbourhood, or ask at an art and crafts’ supplies store. Maybe you’ll even discover some hidden talents you never knew you had.

Funny weather report

The Brabant weather station is always right, and makes you laugh with every forecast, even when it rains. They are so simple, you could easily make one yourself. You don’t need any experience as a weather forecaster for it either. Simply get a pice of wood of your desired dimensions and drill a hole in it, use paint or letter stickers, a firm piece of rope and of course, a steady hand.

The text reads (from top to bottom and left to right): Rope warm – Sunny; Rope burned – Heatwave; Rope wet – Rain; Rope swinging – Wind; Rope still – No wind; Rope white – Snow; Rope stiff – Frost; Rope can’t be seen – Mist; Rope missing – Stolen.

Surprising jeans

In my blog, ‘Garden cushions in need of a refresh?’, I explain how you can create some really handy cushion covers using your old jeans. But that isn’t the only thing you can do with your old pairs of jeans. Some time ago, I saw three pairs of jeans hanging on a clothes’ line. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought. Then, I had a better look. The legs were filled with soil and held all kinds of plants. Even a creeping ivy seemed to be doing quite well indeed. However, for this kind of joke, you need to have some space, so I think I’ll just stick to my compact boxwood for now.

I can’t wait to see what kind of humorous gardens you come across this summer. Please share your photos with us on our Facebook page.


– Lorna –

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