Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapter 12 - The Magic of the Garden Hat

Chapeaux Chic

Experienced gardeners all know that you just can't garden properly without the right garden hat.  And, until you get the right hat, your garden will never look as good as the ones in the magazines.  Garden hats contain magic.  That's a fact.

Those new to gardening (or those who think they can do things their own way) often think they can get away without a proper garden hat.  It can't be done.

The garden hat is much more than something to keep the sun out of your eyes.  It is a symbol of your presence in the garden.  "I'm here now and ready with trowel in hand," your garden hat says.

A proper garden hat is bendable straw but allowances can be made for a floppy fabric hat on a mission.  The brim must be large enough to shade your eyes but not so large that you are impeded from getting down and dirty.  Save the netted hats with the oversized brims for garden parties, charity events and royal weddings.

A ratty garden hat gets more gardening points than a brand new hat but a new garden hat is better than no garden hat.  A ratty hat is a badge of honor and the rattier, the better.

There are gardeners, myself included, who are buy a new garden hat every year.  It's a temptation we can't seem to resist - like buying seeds we never get around to planting.  The only penance we can offer is that we keep our old ratty hats and wear them from time to time.  A garden hat, no matter how ratty, is never thrown away.  If you throw away a garden hat, you're throwing away all the magic it contains.

Garden hats, like all things of value, have rules.  One rule is that garden hats are never worn outside of the garden.  You can wear one while walking to and/or from the garden and perhaps, if you're quite discrete, while driving to work in a garden somewhere else but,  it is not proper to wear a garden hat at other times.  You should never wear a garden hat, for example, when you go to the store or nursery even if you are buying garden supplies.  You might as well be going to church in curlers.  There are other rules, but you'll learn those in the garden.

Is a visor a garden hat?   No, sorry, but nice try.

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