A year or so ago, a tiny pebble struck the French door at my daughter’s house. Sadly, the pebble was thrown by a weeder the gardener was using— he was devastated. Naturally, my daughter was equally devastated, but for different reasons. She knew what getting a new door would entail; the gardener knew it was a costly accident for which he was ultimately responsible.
When I saw the door, I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was, the sun was glinting through it, refracting light like a prism. “We can use this”, was my first comment. After her initial shock, my daughter could see it too, but we were far from being able to implement the idea into the backyard design at her house.
Once the door was replaced, the fractured door was stored. I knew the door was still “somewhere”, but out of sight out of mind. When my daughter suggested we use it in my Alice in Wonderland Garden, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Yes, we could lay it on its side and it would act as a barrier between Alice’s garden and the grassy area behind the patio; effectively cutting off a short cut for the dogs between the two spaces. Since the door was a standard six foot eight inches, the space between the posts that separate the two outdoor areas was perfect. Transporting the heavy door would fall to the men in the family; they got it loaded onto the rack on top of my husband’s SUV and they unloaded it at our house. My husband got it screwed into the posts and it was secure.
During one of my daughter’s “scavenging for doors” trips, on a tip from a friend, she managed to pick up a four windows painted a funky yellow-green color, knowing they would be useful. Two of the windows are a great backdrop on the fence in Alice’s garden, and the other two fit side by side by the French door, in the second eight foot section of the space separating the two outdoor areas.
Alice’s garden is finally coming together. Once I got a pair of white tree roses and a shorter pair of red roses, Alice’s garden was beginning to take shape. The Queen of Hearts was the beginning of the Alice Garden, a gift from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and grew from there. The gate I was planning to use against the back fence— when I thought I would link old doors to create a solid barrier against the snarling dogs living behind us— is now in Alice’s garden. We had to put up a solid fence between the yards to save our sanity and do it in a weekend, so the gate was free to be reused…again. I love finding new uses for old things, but I fear it is the bane of my husband’s existence; thankfully he continues to tolerate my crazy ideas.
This exercise proves that we can make good use of seemingly “broken” items. Finding new uses, is my gift. I remember suggesting to people who lost all their crystal in the 1994 earthquake, to save the shards and pieces, fill a glass cylinder and make a lamp out of the glass and cylinder. The light shining down through the glass would allow the beautiful fine crystal to sparkle and shine again, just in a different capacity. There are so many possibilities!