Behold the cable box.
What, you might ask, is it doing on my lawn?
The cable-box-as-lawn-ornament is ubiquitous in what real estate agents like to call "newer" neighborhoods. Ours is a baby hippo-sized structure circa 1989 and it has become the bane of my existence. This hideous object occupies prime real estate in my front yard, where it shares the spotlight with two other eyesores: a combo street sign/stop sign and a Progress Energy street light. The trio make a mockery of my design schemes and my garden photography. For better or worse, they are the bones of my front yard garden.
In fairness, I am bound to admit that the cable box and its two skinny friends got there first. Nor was it their idea to create a front yard garden; had I just kept the yard an expanse of lawn plus the obligatory 6 x 6 mailbox garden, they would have seemed less egregious. So yes, this is a problem of my own making. But while I am perfectly willing to take responsibility, I am extremely reluctant to take the consequences - in this case, a photography and garden design dilemma that has absolutely no solution.
Let's review the options. The street light and street sign/stop sign are untouchable. They belong to the town. The cable box perhaps could be painted a better shade, but I doubt that would help. Cheesy fake boulders and their ilk would make things worse. Wooden lattice screens seem to scream "Look, there's a cable box under here!" In fact, covering the box at all is complicated by the reality that "they" - those mysterious figures from the various power and cable companies - may need access to it at some point.
At least I am not alone. Online, one very frustrated mischief maker went so far as to recommend that the offending cable box meet with an unfortunate "accident" in the dead of night, thus spurring the power company to replace it with a newer, sleeker, and (presumably) more garden-friendly model. This sounds borderline illegal. I'll pass.
So let's recap. Removing it is impossible. Disguising it is hopeless. Vandalizing it is unethical. Ignoring it would seem to be the only remaining option. I can do that. My camera is another story.
The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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