Monday, October 3, 2011
On the path to the doghouse
Even though I think of myself as a rather circumspect (ahem) older adult, I admit I was somewhat of a terror in kindergarten. Anyone who misbehaved was sent to the "doghouse'. I was a frequent visitor and the only girl to be so imprisoned (I still don't think that beating two boys over the head with a rolled up coloring book page deserved such punishment). Ours wasn't really a doghouse, but a little room just inside the back entrance to the community center where classes were held. To this day, I can still see the crate of empty Coca-Cola bottles and the metal folding chairs stacked against the walls and velvet boxes they must have used on the stage.
The doghouse you see in the photograph isn't real either. The owner of this garden is crazy about animals, and her dogs and cats live inside in luxurious circumstances. But the cast concrete doghouse seems just the right whimsical element for this shady path.
The photograph was taken on May 15 a few years ago. The key to the beauty of the scene is the blend of textures she's chosen - the broad leaves of hostas, the lacy but durable ferns, boxwood, yew and mondo grass. Just beyond the doghouse, the light green tips of new growth on a conifer add yet another interesting color to the composition.
Just to get a better picture of the circumstances, this is a fairly narrow space between the owner's house and a neighbor's fence. It's chock full of plants (many in graduating heights) that are out of this view. The informal path leads from the side gate and entrance to the back garden to the sunny parking area in the front. All in all, I can't think of a more appropriate setting for a doghouse that isn't real.