ProfessorRoush doesn't often post pictures taken outside his own garden, but I can't resist posting this iPhone photo of a Halloween display that I encountered yesterday at a local horticulture proprietor. Forget the Halloween paraphernalia, look at the garden table! I took one look at this table, stained cement at about the perfect height for either "real" garden work like potting or for just display and ornaments, and I almost walked out the door with it despite the almost $400 price. Shades of impulse buys, somebody purchase this thing before it lures me back!
I've never, ever, thought about a table in the middle of my garden, but somewhere in ProfessorRoush Fantasy Garden Land, this table, with its Griffon-style legs, stands adorned in Spring with forced pots of bulbs hidden among blooming wisteria vines. There is a fat calico-furred feline soaking up the early Spring sunrays and lazily watching a torpid bumblebee lumbering near. The view changes again in Summer, and I see the legs adorned in Jackmanii wisteria and a fragrant pink pillar rose draped over it along the back, butterflies floating slowly from bloom to bloom on placid early morning air currents. I see this very table in September, arrayed with ornamental gourds and pumpkins, surrounded on the sides and back by tall 'Northwind' and Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' grasses. What garden paradise can I create here with this eye-level cement muse?
Alas, while these beautiful vistas beckon, I can't escape from the realities of the Flint Hills. I know that potted bulbs would be quickly swept off the bench by the Kansas winds of April, and the wisteria would likely refuse to bloom. The fragrant pillar rose would rake across the table in Summer, scraping any contents to the ground in an instant. The clematis would be wilting in the hot summer sun, particularly where it contacted the boiling concrete. The colorful pumpkins and gourds of autumn would be whisked off to Missouri on the back of a thunderstorm while the grasses stood as silent guards around the cement tomb of summer's hopes.
Hey, look again at that picture. It might not work out in my garden, but I think it would look great in yours!