Monday, May 24, 2010

Just whistle to me, my lad(der)!

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This was all set to be a walk-about of an Alaska garden at the end of May.  That was before “Mr. Energy” aka the Last Frontier Garden hubby in project mode, planted ladders about the yard like perennials.  Yes, you read that correctly…ladders.  I had a lot of time to ponder ladders, I was parked on one for several hours on Saturday.  Not at the business end, which would be the top, but the insurance end, which is the bottom rung.  I was making sure Mr. Energy didn’t drop to his death, perched atop a twenty-foot bit of aluminum.  Mission accomplished.

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Some readers may remember that Mr. E. threatened me with painting the house after the last garden dustup.  No idle threat, which I discovered this weekend when I stepped out of the house to work in the yard.  Why is this ladder here, I wondered to myself naively.  And this visqueen?  (Actually, visqueen is known as a “temporary tarpaulin,” so that explains it’s presence in our Alaska garden…gotta have tarps, even temporary ones)  And what are these wood blocks and holy moly, is that piece of cardboard on the Viburnum and Alliums?! 

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Like many people, I have learned to cope with unpleasantness by eating or shopping.  Since those options weren’t available at the bottom rung, I decided to do a bit of day-dreaming.  Blurring one’s eyes (or closing them, even better) for a virtual get-away is a good idea when the alternative is shouting, headaches, or giving up gardening altogether.  I decided to dream about ladders…I know, slightly disturbing, but I hadn’t thought of a post idea yet, and ladders don’t get much love (or press).  Check this link for info about different ladders, from the old trusty step ladder, to the more exotic cat, bridge, and turntable ladders.  Our own three specimens, pictured below in a happy group shot, were the extension, folding (the one with Mr. E’s feet on it), and orchard (the wooden one with three legs) breeds of ladder.  

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Ladders aren’t the new kids on the block in the tool shed.  There is a Mesolithic rock painting in Spain thought to be over 10,000 years old depicting a ladder.  They left out the part whether the caveman’s wife was standing on the bottom rung or not.  Maybe he placed it in her Mesolithic flowerbed and she is holding a club for when he climbs back down.  And maybe he saw the club and stayed on the ladder.  Sorry, letting my fantasy run away with me there….

Need to storm a vessel or building?  Why then you need an assault ladder.  Suited for, and I quote “covert operations such as sniper placement.”  Wow, I never thought a ladder could sound so…James Bond.  The other end of the sophisticated spectrum boasts the rope ladder.  Maybe boast is the wrong word here.  Just the sound of it makes me think of Tarzan or at best, the Swiss Family Robinson.  A rope ladder is indispensible for those with no storage space or if one hopes to summit a roundish object, say a planetarium or something.  I note that it requires more skill to climb than a “rigid” ladder and can “swing like a pendulum.”  Which guarantees I shall never be on one, if I can prevent it.

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Whether you love them or loathe them, ladders are as useful as tarps.  A high compliment from an Alaskan gardener, especially one whose had her plants smashed.  I feel no rancor, against the ladders, at least.  Now if I can just get my hands on one of those sexy assault ladders….

Got any ladders?  Are you a bottom rung-er or a top rung-er?


  1. Bottom rung? No I am on the Other side of the house. Can't bear to look.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful post! The ladder in the Mesolithic flowerbed all but made my day...and even with the ladders and tarps, your garden looks lovely!

  3. Ladders and tarps... you gotta love an Alaskan garden. You cracked me up with this one. I have been at the bottom and at the top of our garden ladders. The rungs I prefer are the ones that go "honey I rung a handyman and he's coming over Tuesday."

  4. Ladders? I have two of them but I can now bring myself to get higher than holding onto the top rung. I hate to try to stand on the top rungs. I feel that I have to hold onto the ladder. LOL! Your Pasque flower is so pretty. It is good to see things blooming your way now.

  5. Oh my goodness, you weren't kidding about all the ladders, were you? We only have one ladder, the standard aluminum kind. I do love the photo of your beautiful purple flowers.

  6. Visqueen. I have visqueen. Doesn't everyone? I even have visqueen with a nylon web in it. But than I got blue tarps and silver tarps and brown tarps. Great garden pics. jim

  7. Christine, This is hilarious. It made me realize how unaccustomed to compromise I've gotten in more than 30 years of living singly. I may have to do everything myself, but I can also do it in my schedule! I'm impressed with your good humor in the face of such provocations as cardboard on the viburnum and alliums! -Jean

  8. Tooo funny. I try to keep the bottom rung occupied. Very important job there. Your house will soon appear as beautiful as your garden. I hope that no plants were harmed during this occupation of the ladders.

  9. Such a great post!!! I am DEFINITELY an insurance end person (shudders at the thought of the buisness end lol). At least your hubby was wearing proper footwear. Our ladder made it's seasons debut recently for window washing purposes, in sandals (shudders again). Does make a very interesting sculptoral element in the garden.

  10. Hmm, that triggered a mildly disturbing flashback. Hubby on top of a 20' ladder, with wife parked in a holding pattern at the bottom rung? Oh yeah...been there, done that. My utter lack of amusement in this seeming exercise in futility? Priceless. My guy is simply not the billy goat he used to be, so his rare excursions on high altitude chores are neither recommended nor encouraged. At least yours looks stable! And if all else fails, they always have us to fall on, don't they?

  11. Christine~~ At first I thought you wrote ASPHALT ladder, like you use it on the street to scale the buildings to get in position for a sniper attack. Yes, my brain is wired funny.

    Great post, girl, which just proves that being idle [and helpful] can bear a multitude of fruits.

  12. Top rung. I love heights, and painting, and filling bird feeders, and cleaning windows :) I see spring is well under way in your garden.

  13. Thats quite a few ladders. I'm luck to only have one haha

  14. Nice garden... the ladders seemed to be a part of the garden (as a whole)... made a pretty impression, at least for me...


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