The Gardener's Tacky Scale

by - June 04, 2011

After a janut to the flea market in which our divergent tastes in garden decor were made more aparent, the Man and I instituted the tacky scale. Zero means a potential installation isn't tacky at all, and three implies it is very tacky. A score of 0 means, cost permitting, I can install without consultation. A score of 1 requires consultation, bargain limitations permitting. A score of 2 requires consulation and begging. A score of 3 just isn't going to happen in our garden. After almost seven years of marriage, I know pretty well how the Man will score something. My preference lies somewhere in between 1 and 2, although my eye can definitely be turned towards a metal inspired 3.

I pulled all the following examples of rain gages from Amazon to demonstrate my point.

Scores 1 for function, clean lines, no gimmicks.

Scores 2 for function with a flare & multi colors.

Scores 3 for whimsy over function & breakable parts.

Scores 3. Cats don't like to sit in the rain.

Sorry pet lovers. We just don't like kitty and doggie statues. We aren't the biggest gnome people either. Neons, pastels, cartoon characters, faeries, predominantly plastic - all out. I decided to find one that I would like to install and just see what the Man would say about it.

My preference. The Man scores it a 1 or 1.5.

So if the price were good enough (Hey Wind and Weather, would you like to send me a free one?) he would be cool with this one too. Instead, I got a no frills, no fancy one for less than $3 from a local hardware store. Score ZERO! Does this mean I can to save up points for something really tacky later? He claims my bean teepee and tunnel are a 2 and my flea market metal frogs and lizzard as a 2 as well. I agree with him on the repilian statues, but there's no way the teepee is a 2. That's harsh.

Do you use a tacky scale when considering purchases? Is there no limit to your tackiness? No shame in it, I'm just married to a no-frills engineer, and I wouldn't change him one bit.

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  1. I think most of my garden geegaws would probably score a 5 on your husband's tacky scale, LOL. I love structures, verticality, cobalt blue and chartreuse in the garden, with fuschia and yellow added in. Fortunately, my husband acquiesces to my garden passions, in both front and back yards. I do try for an interesting whimsical affect, rather than "Sanford and Son" junky (although in the winter, it is very easy for the yard and garden to slide down the slippery slope to junky).

    Now, my father is a no-frills 80 year old civil engineer who does not let form interfere with function in their yard, resulting in some rather strange looking trellising made from leftover rebar, and a cobbled system of water diversion from their downspouts.


  2. My husband is a Civil Engineer... maybe it's a type thing! I love that you are so "tacky". I checked out the pics of all your trellises and it looks like you are having great fun in your design. I'm a huge fan of attempting to grow upwards.



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