Oops, sorry! That title should read Protection, From Demons. When the glaciers marched into and out of this region ages ago, they dug up and left behind a lot of stone. This is one of the most geologically varied areas in the world. When we moved here, I hired a separate van to move 3000 pounds of rocks that we’d obtained over the years, to be used for landscaping and garden accents, quartz, marble, sandstone, agate and shale, often with fossils in it.
Over the years, we have also purchased a variety of garden figures. Not silly little gnomes, these guys have some character, like the characters who own them.
This is Igor. He came to us blind, because he had one eye closed, and the other one missing. We provided him with a blood-red marble to see with. He spent years beneath the wife’s magnolia bush, which didn’t do well in sandy soil near the river, when we lived on the other side of town, but has grown and branched and bloomed in the clay-ey soil here.
The first photo shows the small, but blooming plant 15 years ago, before we moved.
The next shot is the same shrub, transplanted, after we moved, 12 years ago. Not much more than a stick, we didn’t hold much hope for it. You can see a couple of the accent stones we brought along.
The blooming shot is from five years ago. It blooms in the spring before it leafs out. The last pic is from the same spot as shot number 2, giving some idea of how it continues to grow. It’s a shrub magnolia, not the tree variety, but 14/15 feet tall. We get some re-blooming, especially on the sunny top, mid-July/Aug.
Igor bade goodbye to years of Halloween trick-or-treaters. He’s an anorexic 7.5 pounds of fibreglass and resin, easily talked into walking down the street with a teenager, like a three-pound pottery angel which disappeared off a flower table on the front porch. Or maybe she was just embarrassed by the company she was forced to keep, and flew away.
When we had the chance to adopt Goliath, we gave him a Moonstone evil-eye – and Igor’s spot under the magnolia. Goliath is 75 pounds of pure concrete, promising a hernia or broken foot to any potential thief. Igor moved to the back deck.
Back on the deck, he moved in with “Go Away”, my personal mascot. I was going to use his photo as my gravatar, but decided on something a little more welcoming. There are (un)welcome mats which also read Go Away, but it’s cheaper just to ignore the doorbell. Back beside Go Away, is the wife’s final word to her flowers, “Grow Dammit”. Seems to be working.
They are watched over by Winged Victory, who can’t fly off the fencepost because of a six-inch spike up his little fiberglass ass. He was the painted display model and the last of his discontinued line that we brought home from a Mediaeval Faire. He is a grotesque, because only waterspouts are correctly named gargoyles.
Continuing in the son’s hear-no-evil, etc. theme, are the matched set of concrete goblins which he purchased. I managed to set them out in the correct order. The child whose head is full of even more useless trivia than mine, says their Japanese names are Mizaru, Mazaru, and Mikazaru. Some sets include, “Do No Evil”, with the hands over his crotch. As well, there’s the vertical, resin, green and white frog-set version. He has others, indoors.
Back around at the front, keeping intruders out of the washroom window are two of three concrete goblin-lions. They’ve been out there 24/7/365 since we bought them. Sadly, the third must have had a crack, and this spring, freezing split it into three unequal pieces. For backup, they hang out with a demented Sesame Street-like character the grandson formed in pottery class in grade eight.
If anyone manages to get through the window, without upsetting the goblins, or our cats, they are not welcomed inside by Hellboy’s younger brother, Redboy.
Lurking near the door, waiting to trip up unsuspecting Jehovah’s Witnesses, kids selling school chocolate, and other ne’er-do-wells, is The Thinker, looking like he just climbed down off an Aztec sacrificial pyramid after ingesting a bit too much peyote, and thinking about who he’ll have for lunch.
Providing a stumbling block in front of a three-tier brass plant-stand and the aforementioned plant table, at the end of the porch, is Todd The Toad. While not much for rending undesirables limb from limb, after the rest of the Wrecking Crew do their number, he eats up any incriminating DNA evidence. He hopped home with us all the way from the three-ended bridge in Zanesville, Ohio.
Having written about a Yankee transplant in Kentucky whose God-fearing neighbors wanted him burned at the stake for having two little concrete demons out at the end of his driveway, it occurred to me to wonder what the neighbors thought of our unusual “pets.” One weekend, when the neighbor-lady’s father was visiting from Buffalo, I asked if they were offended or worried in any way.
Logical thinkers, they had no problems. The dad asked, though, “Shouldn’t they be facing outwards?” He don’t know us very well, do he? On the wall, just inside the front door, is a small parchment which reads, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re just a nice normal family.” They’re there to protect the rest of the neighborhood from us!