The angel at my old house. Unfortunately you can’t see the brick pathway, which was to the left of the angel.
I first read about creating focal points and garden destinations in a book titled Garden Rooms by Catriona Tudor Erler. I still have the book.
Back in 2003, I dreamed of owning a big beautiful statue to place in the garden as a focal point, but I didn’t have any big beautiful bucks to buy one. And then one day as I was casually talking with my boss about what she did over the weekend, she mentioned she purchased a concrete table with matching benches for a reasonable price at a road-side stand off the IH 35 feeder road. She also mentioned the place had a lot of statues. Bingo!
I queried my boss for more detail about the location, which was kind of vague, and the next weekend my husband and I were off to find the place.
With regard to restaurants, you often hear people say, “Oh, it was a hole in the wall.” Well, this establishment could have been termed “a hole off the road” literally.
Sure enough, after we exited IH 35, we came upon a road-side ramshackle shack surrounded by bare earth with mud-filled dips and pot holes, and all kinds of concrete objects.
A friendly little old man stood in attendance ready to help us. As the shop owner and a creator of sorts, the man made and sold all kinds of concrete objects—turtles, Madonnas, rabbits, doves, small donkeys, tables, planters, and so forth. I also believe he made most of these items on-site because I saw cast-off concrete molds and hardened pieces of broken concrete in various spots around the property.
My husband and I moseyed about a bit, until I came to a row of three identical angels. Although these were not the marble statues of my dreams, the angels did have “something” that I found appealing. Maybe a touch of serenity with a dash of peace? While I can’t actually pinpoint exactly what it was I liked, I bought the best looking of the three plus a plinth. Plinth and all, the angel was not tall, at a little over 42 inches.
At my former home, I placed the angel at the entrance to the brick path that led through the flower garden. I thought it might welcome people as they entered the path.
Over the years, this angel has garnered all kinds of comments. The majority have been something along the lines of, “Oh she’s cool. Where did you get her?” or “I like the angel.” Of course those comments makes me feel good especially considering the angel’s humble beginning and the fact that it’s made of concrete, didn’t cost much, and isn’t in the least fancy.
However, there have been other comments that were, shall we say, uncomfortable and also funny.
The first that comes to mind came from the mother of one of my kid’s friends who said, “Oh, that’s a lovely angel.” I responded, “Thank you.” She followed up by saying, “She looks like she belongs in a cemetery.” Boy, I never saw that one coming!
The best comment, however, came from my husband’s friend, Tony. Tony biked by our house one day and stopped for a visit in which he walked around our backyard inspecting the garden and then ended his inspection by evaluating the angel.
As he gazed at it he told me, “You know it’s not a REAL angel.” (Actually, I sort of didn’t think it was, but you never know, right?)
I answered, “Oh really, why is that?”
“Well,” he responded, “it has long hair, and it’s female. All angels are male.”
You might be thinking good ‘ole Tony was kidding, but no, he was absolutely serious, and yes, as far as I know he had all of his marble.
Tony’s comment stuck in my head ever since.
Boys sometimes have long hair and feminine features so how did he know one way or the other about the gender of my angel? Did he look under the statue’s robe?
Now here is my angel in my current garden guarding the veggie patch.
(Poor photo, I know.)
And just so there will never ever be any more confusion, below is the angel letting you know its gender, which is extremely important of course.
Whew! I’m glad I finally cleared that up.
Post Script: In preparing to take the photo above I called my singing neighbor to ask her if she might lend me two tennis or golf balls. She said she didn’t have any, but asked me what I planned to do with them. How does one answer such a question?