Brooke here. The title isn’t in bad taste as this post involves nothing but misshapen slabs of concrete.
Brooke: Look what I found!
Brown: … giant molars?
Brooke: Concrete birdbaths! They’re for the lawn!
Brown: … so it can eat roughage?
While prepping the area for the moss garden, I removed the red ceramic cover for the French drain access pipe, which then went the way of all untreated ceramic left to overwinter out-of-doors. Since then, I’ve been searching for a replacement cover at local garden stores. Nothing has really blown me away, and as the pipe is set dead-center in the tiny moss garden I would prefer if whatever covers it isn’t some vile white elephant from Hobby Lobby.
(My favorite lawn ornament is a literal white elephant made of carved alabaster which I picked up at a church rummage sale when I was eight, but that’s a story for another day and it doesn’t fit over a pipe, besides.)
I hit the local mega-garden center near our house yesterday. It’s a wonderful but intimidating place; someone had the brilliant idea of making a mini-mall for home owners looking to do all of their renovation shopping without driving all over town, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for but the convenience markup is rarely worth it. Still, I hate going to garden stores when it’s not full-on spring yet. Winter is doing a slow strip tease this year and I’m tired of getting hit in the face with 60-degree weather and then realizing she still hasn’t got around to taking off her stockings. So, to the megastore, where I described the French drain issue and the budding moss garden to a very nice clerk.
I recognized the look the clerk gave me. It was a subset of the familiar oh goody, a crazy lady look, but with a twist; I was a crazy lady they could use. It’s a great look. It’s the look I get when someone is about to pawn something unsellable off on me. She took me on a long, long walk to the hindmost part of the garden center where they stash their broken pottery, and showed me a massive hollow cement birdbath. The birdbath was about 10″ off the ground at its highest point, and about 18″ wide. She said it had been there so long it was not in their inventory and I could take it. I asked how long it had been lying around, and she said it was there when she had joined the company in 1994.
The price tag said $49.99. I gave them $5 out of guilt and loaded it into my trunk with the help of a woman who owns cows; this came up as the birdbath is the approximate weight of the average newborn calf.
I wasn’t sure the birdbath would fit over the pipe, though, so I drove to their sister store to see if they had any similar birdbaths left lying around. They did. Taller ones! Wider ones! Ones that cost $255 plus tax. I said I might be interested in the larger birdbaths if the price was right…
The manager came out and I described the scenario at the other store, and she gave me the oh goody! look. “These have been here for almost twenty years,” she said. “How much did you pay for the little one?”
“Five bucks,” I replied.
“Ten,” she said to the clerk. “Ring it up at ten.”
Which is how we ended up with over three hundred dollars in concrete birdbaths for fifteen bucks. I have no idea what we’ll do with them, as they don’t work in the moss garden. The little one isn’t tall enough to cover the pipe and the big one is too large for the space. I suppose we’ll put a Mock Rock there instead… I dislike the look of fake rocks but it’ll do the job and, hopefully, the rock will get covered in moss and vanish from sight anyhow. There are some videos on YouTube about making your own hollow rocks, and if we run out of projects (*snort*) mockrocking might make for a fun afternoon.
We’ll find somewhere to put the birdbaths, though. They have history.