Friday, April 2, 2010

Reflecting the Garden

It was just a worn out cabinet. But objects, like people, have history. Passed from mother to daughter; the daughter sold it on eBay to another mother, who went in on the cost with her new daughter-in-law to hold the brides’ grandmother’s china. The young couple turned out to be two lovely people who did not bring out the best in each other. In the divorce, the bride got the house and the husband got the cabinet.

The now divorced man held on to his possessions. When he was ready to get rid of the remnants of the life he had tied to build, he held a garage sale.

The cabinet looked sad. She had mirror broken, was missing a knob from having spent its lives being passed around. Bruised and battered on the outside: her bones were solid oak. I had a plan. Cheap enough my husband said, “Go for it.” This is how the cabinet came to be setting on my patio.

The good folks at Ken’s Ace Hardware sold us a can of Howard’s Restore-A-Finish and a knob like those which had survived so many transitions. Tim at Brundige Glass in Brea ordered and cut 1/8” mirror to replace the broken panel.

My He-man husband dressed in Levi’s to perform the cabinet’s reconstructive surgery. Re-affixing cornice trim and cleaning out remaining glass shards from crevices, his patient was ready for careful fitting of mirrored panels ,then gingerly reassembled and sutured with staples.

Polished and filled with decorations collected over the years, it is already filled with memories. This Easter, the holiest day of my faith’s calendar, its new life will be christened on our patio. Reflecting what we value. The glory of the garden. The joy of family together.

Happy Easter from my family to yours. Whatever your faith. May the coming spring be blessed with abundance.


  1. Lydia,

    Just gorgeous!! You did good, you and Gerry! I can't imagine such a beautiful piece of furniture sitting on your patio! Was there no room in the house for it? I hope your patio doesn't get soaked when it rains like mine does. Your dishes in there sparkle and look lovely!
    Congratulations on a job well done. I'll bet Trevor is proud of his parents for this restoration.

    Have a happy and blessed Easter!

    Hugs, Trisha

  2. Trisha- Thank you for the compliments.

    I first read about mirrors being used in the garden in a book by Alexandra Stoddard. Being able to restore a cabinet with a mirror- have it outdoors- the effect is even lovelier than I imagined.

    The white cabinet next to it- my father built that in 1960. When we closed my parent's house- it fit perfectly in the space. The top was tiled, the redwood structure painted cream- no problems. Not in a decade.

  3. It looks SPLENDID, Lydia...You all did a glorious job and it looks mighty pretty there at your house!
    A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO YOU AND YOURS, MY DEAR. May this coming Spring be filled with all Joyous things---especially those things in your Garden...! But, Good Health, too!


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