May 6, 2006

The Garden

Filed under: The Garden — marcstober @ 6:32 pm

What I like most about the house is having a back yard, something I grew up with. Hannah likes to call it “the garden” and I like that term as well. Sure, it sounds a little pretentious (or maybe just British!) but I think there’s a specific architectural meaning to “garden.” The idea is to have a space outdoors for eating, playing, or just hanging out on a nice day and that’s an important feature of a house; it’s something, for example, that Moshe Safie included in the homes of Habitat ’67 or that is talked about in A Pattern Language. Moreover we certainly don’t have a big, mowed space where you could throw a football which would really qualify as a yard!

What is new about having a garden is that there are things that grow. These purple and while wildflowers sprouted up over the past couple of days:


I think these are related to the spade-shaped ground cover that also seems to have sprouted up througout the yard; I don’t know what it’s called but I remember them (without the flowers) as being all around the house I lived in in elementary school. There is also some clover, and a lot of unmowed grass and weeds. I suppose if someone was actually mowing the grass the flowers wouldn’t have grown in.

In the category of new toys, I also got a new Weber Genesis Silver A gas grill. I bought it from Harvey’s Ace Hardware in Needham, where it came delivered, delivered, assembled, with a tank of gas, by a technician with the patter of an experienced tour guide who spent about 20 minutes explaining how to maintain it. Not the sort of experience I’d expect from the big stores. It also came with stainless steel, not the standard porcelain or cast iron, cooking grids and “flavorizer” bars. For all this it was about $100 more than you could get the same model elsewhere, but the tank of gas alone makes up a big part of the difference and having it delivered was just convenient. When we were at Yale Appliance a couple weeks ago I saw that they were also selling a Silver model with stainless steel cooking grates; I guess it’s something the independent dealers do to differentiate from the big stores.