A Sure Sign of Change
In my neighborhood there is a certain and predictable sign of the changing seasons that is not reliant upon migrating birds or temperature fluctuations or even the changing hours of daylight. It is reliant on Mr. Miller, and his flower pot creations.
Ronald Miller is a man who takes great pride in a beautifully landscaped yard. He lives on the corner at the top of our road and his yard is a showplace of flowers and shrubs and hand built stone walls and gardens. He keeps his grass manicured and his leaves cleared and his driveway spotless unlike mine where the rule of thumb is don’t let things get over knee high and let nature take its course.
So I often feel guilty when I drive by the Miller’s for my own neglect, but I am always left with a smile as I pass, for the humor and whimsy that Mr. Miller presents all his neighbors with every day.
In my collection of images on Ornamental America, the Miller’s house is a favorite stop. He has constructed a family of flower pot people that he changes with the seasons, dressing them in garb appropriate for whatever holiday or seasonal trend is current. He has a flower pot man that sits in a garden area that’s not visible from the road. But in plain view for all who pass are the flower pot woman, the little flower pot guy, and their flower pot dog.
I have to be on the lookout so as not to miss a costume change, for if I dawdle and postpone my stop to photograph them, they change before I know it. This summer I missed the little guy’s summer wardrobe with pith helmet and garden tools, so will have to wait until next season to record that one. But I made a point to stop today, however, so as not to miss the Halloween costumes.
My Ornamental America series focuses on things people use to decorate their yards and includes everything from painted rocks to deer made from logs to statues of the Virgin to rock cairns and all kinds of kitsch. But most of these are static objects placed like totems and left to quietly weather. The Miller’s flower pots have life and personality and character. And they give me a smile every time I pass. Thanks, Mr. Miller. It’s a little bit of joy shared, a light hearted free gift. And I appreciate it.
All Images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved