Friday, April 16, 2010

Garden accessories the good, the bad, and the ugly

I get many garden related catalogues in the mail, as I’m sure you do. Most of them I leaf through and then recycle. The latest one to show up was Plow and Hearth. The name doesn’t exactly inspire me to look inside, but I did.

Now here is where I take a road I’m not altogether proud of, but it’s not like I’m makng fun of an actual garden that someone worked to create, just a product that’s being sold to gardeners. Mock Rock. Say it with me…Mock Rock. Here is the text from the catalogue…

“Cover Problem Spots in Your Yard
Hide unsightly or dangerous problem areas in your yard or garden with Mock Rocks®. Lightweight but very durable, the rock has a hollow design that makes it an attractive and economical solution to pipes, meters, landscaping problems - even as an address plaque. Durable plastic composite is impact and weather resistant. Ground stakes included. Rocks (in five sizes) come in gray and brown. Extra Tall Rock is specially designed to conceal tall septic risers and telephone and cable pedestals”
So you buy this piece of plastic and use it to hide some unsightly mess in your garden. But isn’t it actually an unsightly mess!!!!??? Good god what a notion.

In the interest of adding a positive note and not being blacklisted by everyone who likes this catalogue…wait what am I saying? If you like this catalogue you probably aren’t reading a blog titled danger garden are you? Anyway…they did have an item that I am considering purchasing. Yes really. Aren’t these lights fabulous? And get this…they are actually glass! Not plastic but real glass! And solar! Here’s the scoop:

“Translucent Globes Shine Even When Not Lit
Our bright Globe Solar String Lights are a great way to add a festive touch to outdoor areas or indoor rooms, thanks to an included solar panel and an AC adapter. Each of the 25 clear glass bulbs holds a bright LED light to add ambiance to any party or gathering area in or around your home, and the iridescent glass is attractive even when not lit. There are no cords to run when using the energy-efficient solar panel which sets up anywhere there's sunlight to illuminate the lights for up to 8 hours on an 8-hour charge. Connect the included AC adapter and transformer and plug them in to any available outlet”

I think part of the appeal of these lights for me is that they remind me of lights we saw strung accross courtyards in our travels around Italy. I picture them under our shade pavilion reflecting off the corrugated metal roof. But if I were to actually order from this catalogue then I’m doomed to receive it for an eternity aren’t I?


  1. I made the mistake of ordering a weather cover for some outdoor furniture once in the distant past and now I'm on their list (even though I returned the purchase.) Each time the P&H catalog comes I flip through it hoping for some reasonably priced retro-style metal garden furniture. But they haven't caught up to my needs yet.

    BTW, for the most hideous thing in that catalog my vote goes to the face parts you're supposed to put on tree trunks. Scary!

  2. My wife and I were travelling in the Shenandoah Valley and passed a neighborhood of new homes. Each yard had the same identical mock rock in the same corner covering some utility.

  3. Well, I do love the lights. As for the rock....I used to work at a place that had speakers hidden inside of fake boulders. Very ugly...

  4. I've seen those mock rocks used with real rocks - to cover the water access panel - it looks particularly silly next to the real thing.

    Those lights are fabulous, but wouldn't last a season in our desert winds. Sometimes the wind knocks over my planted pots. Glass? not such a good idea here.

    If you get 'em, I'd love to see them up and lit at dusk. Mmmmm. beauty.

  5. The lights are great, and you're probably doomed anyway. I say go for it.

  6. Hm, maybe you can find something similar from another source? Look local? I agree about the faux boulders, ick city. That lady look pretty chipper for someone who's standing on a tank of #$*&.

  7. I'm pretty excited that we get all these good solar light options now. I got chinese lantern style lights at ikea recently, I haven't hung them out yet, I'm not sure how good they'll look, but I like these glass ones. I saw them sold somewhere as "party lights." Is that their usual name? I like the idea of them being party lights.

  8. MulchMaid - my in-laws have faces on many of their trees. Now I know which catalog to avoid so I don't fall into the same trap!

    I remember an air-band competition in high school that was called "Mock Rock". It was the 80s and we still did things like that. Love the lights!

  9. MulchMaid, oh god! I forgot about those...there is a garden by where I used to park at work that had them on their trees. I made up a story that it was all about the grand-kids and that's how it was (almost) acceptable.

    Les, I think you are talking about a garden remake of the Stepford Wives.

    Noelle, I've seen those! Yikes!

    Jenn, if I get them I will take pictures, for sure! Wow...wind that powerful!? And I thought ours was bad, guess not.

    ricki, thanks!

    Karen, I think we would look chipper too if we were getting paid what she is? Right? Good seems like something I should be able to find, maybe at Garden Fever!

    Megan, party lights they are!

    Diane, oh god...too funny.

  10. Those rocks are funny..esp. that largest one on the right of the catalog. Hey, has anybody ever seen that wild badger with the glowing LED eyes that are supposed to scare away critters? I think next halloween, I am going for a dancing ghost. Better yet...why wait. I am getting the Singing Bass...that will take care of our raccoon problem. Matti

  11. Keep receiving the catalog, Loree. You'll always have blog fodder.

    I for one love mocking the tasteless at large. Please don't stop. We can do it in fun.

    There is a mock rock stationed front and center in a yard on the way to town. Although its shape could be considered relatively plausible, the color removes all doubt to its authenticity. I suppose what it is hiding could be considered a mite more tacky but that's debatable.

    I have many solar light "lanterns" placed around my garden. The one thing I'm not terribly fond of is the bluish light. To remedy this I prefer to use colored glass cups when I can find them at thrift stores. Although the lights you have featured are indeed dazzling, the bluish light might be a bit harsh. However, I'm thinking that if they're placed at ceiling height where you're not looking directly into the bulbs would be perfect.

  12. ha ....i operate a garden accessories shop ...why a fake plastic rock ...why dont they do a fake plastic gnome...cant really get any worse...yep love the lights but dont they need to be yellow, blue, red, green for true party lights

  13. your "septic riser" is a water wellhead

  14. haha i thought the rock is for real . i love to have that one . thanks for the post . do you have an article regarding wind spinners , chimes and other garden accessories ? hope to hear from you thanks.


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