"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
-- taken from Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Still image taken from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my brief dream to have an Alice in Wonderland themed garden, with giant teacups serving as flower planters. The reality of living in an area where nothing grows but cactus pretty much stomped out that dream. What hasn't changed is the fact that I still have a terrible case of Spring Fever. The weather outside is beautiful, everyone is talking about spring break vacations and plans for Easter. So, I'll continue to feed my need for a pretty flower garden by virtually creating one.
I didn't know who Jim Shore was, prior to writing this post. He is a folk artist that has gone mainstream, applying his unique style to known brands, such as Disney characters. In searching for the perfect items for my imaginary garden, I stumbled across his line of Disney Wonderland themed garden accessories. My type-A personality loves matching things, so they'll do perfectly for my pretend garden. (Click on the linked text to be taken to the item for sale on Amazon.)
First, we'll have a little stone path, leading along the side of the house and up to the wooden gate, where you see this little "Welcome" sign sticking up in the grass, letting you know that you're entering Wonderland. You might have to push aside some overgrown bright pink bouganvilla to reveal a strange and wonderful little garden oasis.
There, lining a lush and manicured grassy lawn, you'll see beds of purple and yellow pansies turning their faces up to the sun, bushes of ruffly peonies, rows of pure white tulips, peach Jacob's Ladder roses climbing along the brick wall, proud irises of every color holding their heads high above the smaller flowers. Oh and we simply must have fragrant lilac bushes, with their pretty little lavender flowers perfuming the air.
There will be a little clearing amongst the flowers, surrounded along the edges by Queen Anne's lace, as if someone had made a place for a picnic or afternoon tea. Sure enough, there will be a teapot there, with white and yellow daises spilling out of it. (Daisies, to represent sweet Alice and her innocent youth). Right next to it will be the teacup, but instead of tea, it will have snapdragons of every shade shooting up from the cup. (Snapdragons, a funny-looking flower with a funny name, to represent the very funny Mad Hatter.)
There will be a small reflecting pool (the Pool of Tears, of course) with lily pads and lush green vegetation surrounding it. Maybe we need some trees too, like a big weeping willow with its branches arching over the pool, providing some shade. In the dark recesses of the bushes and in amongst the exposed roots of the tree, there will be white and orange mushrooms pushing up through the dirt.
As you keep walking along the path, you'll come to some beautifully manicured rows of deep burgundy roses. There will be iridescent blue butterflies alighting here and there on the flowers and, if you look closely, you'll see the White Rabbit running in between the bushes on his way to his appointment. He's very late, for a very important date, you see.
Speaking of the White Rabbit, maybe we should have a vegetable garden too, in addition to our flower garden? We would definitely have carrots for the White Rabbit, as well as lettuce, strawberries and cucumbers. We could also have tall stalks of smiling yellow sunflowers.
The sunflowers would bring birds to our lovely garden, and we'd want to be hospitable, so we should provide a birdhouse of some kind. Although I don't think the belly of the Cheshire Cat is what you would call being "hospitable". Still, I have a feeling this particular cat is harmless and would give them a good home, as he swings by his tail from the limb of a tree.
And that, dear readers and fellow adventurers in Wonderland, is what I would put in my imaginary garden. What's in your (real or imaginary) garden? What are you going to plant for Spring? Desert flowers and plants can be pretty too; so if you live in the Valley of the Sun like me, let me know what your favorite one is.