Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Garden Adventures with Duct Tape

I sometimes like to think of the garden as a place full of beauty and charm where even a brief glance can soothe away stress and lower the heart rate. Other times, I catch a glimpse of undone projects, ailing plants, or visual eyesores and it makes me rethink just what my garden is full of. One example from today: duct tape.

Duct tape has quite an interesting little history, http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/ducttape.htm, which I will leave to the tape scholars. In Alaska, it's more than a useful product to join the duct work, it is legend. You hear plenty of stories up here about what it's been used for, from taping together broken bush plane wings to taping up the faces of snowmachine racers in the Iron Dog race to prevent frostbite. I don't know which stories are true, exaggerated, or downright urban/rural myth, but I do know what we use it for around my place.

My husband and I each have a roll for emergencies in the back of our respective vehicles. The garage has a jumbo pack of 4. I think each of his tool bags has one, too. I can only assume market pressure led to the creation of colored duct tape. A bright green roll was purchased to tape the cowling of (and coordinate with) his electric green snowmachine. With all those fabulous colors, the sky is the limit. You can make a whole outfit from it. Yes, we do that here, too. Have contests in fact. There is even a duct tape regatta. Is there anywhere it doesn't belong? The true Alaskan (apparently) says, "no."

Yes, not even a garden escapes the Alaskan ubiquity of this tape. In it's current incarnation, it is wrapped around a green tarp (great subject for another post, Alaskans love tarps) wrapped around a teak dining table. I tried in vain to explain the durability of this wood to my husband, to no avail. I bought it off a guy who let it sit out all winter high up the Hillside area of Anchorage so I know it can be done. I thought of changing tack and bringing up how ugly it will be to look at all winter but I changed my mind last minute. I've got other fish to fry. And hey, at least it's not a blue tarp!


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