The White Picket Fence
So much imagery is conjured up around this little icon of nostalgia, even if it is meant metaphorically today. Little girls everywhere used to daydream of the house with the white picket fence when they grew up. It meant their Prince awaited; marriage proposal, wedding, 2.5 kids, warm summer nights, and the metaphorical American Dream. The happily ever after dream.
I think of the idealistic, stay-at-home mom, busy baking cookies that you could smell stealing out the open window, kids playing safely in the bounds of the White Picket Fence, mouths starting to water at the first hint of the sweet smell.
Pretty flowers grew along the fence and as kids, we would pick them to surprise our mom on birthdays and as penitence for misdeeds. See the old-fashioned varieties, they transcend time and fad? The same ones that used to sit on the kitchen table, generation, after generation. The same plants growing with cuttings passed down and spread through families.
But the fence means so much more. Memories were fueled and idealistic dreams were filed for our grownup future.
The dreams never included taking care of the fence, staining, painting or repairing. But it might have included decorating the fence, being creative with ideas, and different in design.
And planting the fence. Does the White Picket Fence not scream cottage garden? Look at all the flowers that get planted, the kaleidoscope of color, shape and size that lined our grandmother’s garden fence.
And smelling the roses as you passed by the fence on the way to just about anywhere your mind and little feet took you.
Nostalgia comes in many forms with things we don’t have the time for anymore, but our grandparents did. And they made it as a grand affair. Time with family meant everything, and often, that happened within the bounds of the fence, through the gate, or up on the front porch.
Our fences may not be white, wood, or worn, but they enclose, provide a sense of security, and give a charming, homey feel. Fences represent physical boundary, but the White Picket Fence does it in a more friendly, sweeter, neighborly way.
They lead places, beautiful places. Places that exude charm and a quaint cottage feel.
And they help to make a garden room by designating space for certain functions, whether rest or play, entertainment, or solitude.
They might separate neighbors, but also make a place for neighbors to get together and have a chat over the proverbial white picket fence.
But the thing with fences, they give the flowers support, a place for the flowers to shine and strut their stuff. You might want to plant a fence today and bring back memories long ago shelved.