By Steven V. Philips –
The Philips Estate is quite extensive and I am quite forgetful. OK. Only the latter is true and due to that, I often found myself out in the garden being sneered at by a suddenly crazed weed or a dead branch that appeared since sunrise. Really, just since sunrise. It was a daily mocking.
Pruning shears or the weed spray or that lethal weed digger thing have always been back in the tool shed. Or anyplace that’s far enough away to have the trip back erase from your memory of why the trip. Never mind where’s the weed when you return?
Why a mailbox? First of all they’re pretty much weatherproof. And bug proof. And wasp nest proof. Plus, Zorro, they can be very cheap. The Big-Home-Boxo special might be only eight bucks. Yeah, the copper ones shown can be the price of two college texts for your kids, but au contrare to those sociology texts, this item will be opened and used.
If you want it “disappearing simple” so as to blend in with garden foliage, spray it dark green and your garden mailbox almost invisible. Or, like my abstracted version, go crazy and make it a sculptural statement. The way-crazy rooster stands in my home city as a actual street mailbox but would it make a great garden mailbox/storage or what?!
Or you could hit up a rural inhabitant for a rusty old one. At the next Grange meeting the farmer who sold it to you can tell everyone about the city screwball who traded him a brand new one for this 40-year-old rusty vintage beauty. (When you get it home, spray it with a clear coat to stop the aging process! The mailbox. Not the farmer.)
Mine, as you see, is at about 30” high but you could perch it up at 42” so it’s easier to see inside should you stuff it full. Or suspend it from a branch. Or nail it to the tree like a birdhouse. In fact, in Hillsdale NY there is a mailbox on a pole fifteen feet in the air. Door open, it says on the side “Air Mail.” Yeah, it’s a bird’s nesting box. So keep your mailbox closed no matter at what height.
So, no matter that regular mail is going obsolete, here’s something to help the mailbox factory economy.
Use pressure treated wood for the post. And let it sit there for at least four months before you finish coat it. And stain works best.
I cheated and put a slab of pressure treated wood inside, with a vertical stop, so I could pull it out like a drawer, and not lose stuff in the back.
Looking at the rooster photo again, think of “mailbox” as just a starting point word for a spot to keep your tools close, convenient and clean. And it’s not a fowl idea.