mysterious thing in garden

The Mystery of the Thing That Was in the Garden

mysterious thing in garden

This week, in lieu of Casual Friday, which, let’s face it, wasn’t that interesting anyway, here is a photo of a mysterious and possibly priceless artefact that Terry discovered in our garden, buried deep under the earth.

Weren’t expecting THAT, were you?

Neither was Terry, to be honest. He’s been out working in the garden for the past few weeks/months/feels-like-years now, and in all that time, absolutely nothing of interest has happened whatsoever. UNTIL NOW, that is. Duh-duh-DUUUUUHHH!

Now, those of you with a good memory for mundane details may recall that when we moved into this house, the garden looked like this:

garden before

A few months later, it looked like this:

garden during

Which was better, but obviously NOT IDEAL.

This week, it looks like this:


It’s still obviously nowhere near done, but hey, we have a deck! And a wall! And some random planks of wood! Yay!

These photos completely fail to convey just how much work Terry has been forced to put into this. (I’ve done absolutely nothing, I should add. Oh no, wait, that’s not true: I’ve complained a lot about the mud that keeps being dragged into the house. That’s not NOTHING, is it?) It so happens that the people behind us are having some landscaping work done by an actual, professional garden-type person, and he told Terry that the work he’s done so far would’ve cost us thousands if we’d paid someone to do it. He also offered Terry a job, but unfortunately Terry never wants to see another garden as long as he lives now, so there’s that.

(It’s ironic that we’ve had to put so much work into creating a low-maintenance garden, purely because we both hate gardening with a passion, isn’t it?)

It was while digging the foundations for another wall (or a bench, or a veg patch, or some other thing) that Terry made the shocking discovery of The Mysterious Thing That Was Buried in the Garden. We think it’s a candle holder of some kind, so obviously we had to ask: what the hell was a candle-holder of some kind doing buried in our back garden?

If our house was an older one, on an estate that people had been living on for years, we’d have just assumed it was something that belonged to a prior owner, and which had either been buried by a child/animal (When Rubin was a puppy, he used to frequently steal stuff from us and bury it in the garden. He was particularly fond of pens, I seem to recall…), or had simply been dropped and then, during decades of gardening work, become buried far down in the earth. But! This is truly a mystery to us because…

1. It was buried really quite far down: much further than you’d expect if it had been done by accident, or by a child or whatever. In fact, it’s almost as if whoever buried it wanted to make sure it would NEVER BE FOUND. *Shiver*

2. It is a candle-holder.

3. Our house, and all of the houses surrounding it, are only about 4 years old. Before they were built, there was nothing here: this was all just fields back then, seriously.

4. The house has had one previous owner, and one set of tenants, and none of them had done anything to the garden at all: certainly nothing that would lead to a candle-holder being buried in the ground. (They also didn’t have a dog…) As you can possibly see from the first photo, the garden had been literally untouched since the house was built, so there has been no digging/burying/other candle-related activities, as far as we can tell. (And I mean, I guess you can never really know for sure, can you? Can YOU be sure – REALLY sure, I mean? – that no one has buried a candle holder in YOUR garden? CAN YOU?)

All of this led us to suspect (I say “us”: I’ve made this all up in my own head, obviously. Terry was just all, “Oh yeah, I found this in the garden. Catch you later!”) that the Mysterious Thing could only have been buried at the time the house was built, as that would’ve been the one and only time there was any movement of earth in the garden. So, I guess one of the builders working on the house used to always carry a candle with him while he worked? And he carried his candle in a glass holder, shaped like a cherub? And then one day, he dropped it while digging in the garden, and it fell into the ground and was buried? Yeah, that sounds about right.

So it’s a mystery, then. And I should probably say at this point that I am under no illusions of The Mysterious Thing ACTUALLY turning out to be a priceless artefact, or anything like that. I think it’s probably quite modern, and there’s obviously some totally mundane, not-even-remotely-mysterious explanation for its presence. There HAS to be.

I also think it’s probably going to try to kill us in our sleep, though, so, yeah. If this was a horror movie, the hapless home owners would place the Mysterious Item on their mantelpiece, little realising that it carried a powerful curse. THAT part would only become apparent after it had killed a couple of people, or otherwise wreaked havoc with their lives. The tag-line would be, “Some Things Should Stay Buried”. And in other news, I think I’ve FINALLY come up with a plot for that novel I’ve always been meaning to write!

Of course, this ISN’T a horror movie, though. It’s my blog, and the tag line is “lots of photos of me wearing 50s-style skirts and bardot tops”. Also, we don’t actually have a mantelpiece, so I’m sure we’ll be fine. After all, things like that don’t happen in real life.

Do they?

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  • I find this utterly fascinating! I live in a house built in the ’40s so we find all sorts of oddities in our backyard, but considering your circumstances this is pretty interesting! You should take it to Antiques Roadshow! Do you plan on keeping it? Cleaning it up and using it? Making an altar around it? 😉

    May 2, 2014
  • Ooh, weird! When I was a teenager, we lived in a brand new house in the corner of what used to be a field; we were always digging up old pipes and bits of broken crockery and figured that must have been the corner where farmers sat to have their lunch or (more likely) local kids went to canoodle. Perhaps yours is from a VERY romantic picnic?!

    May 2, 2014
  • I think it wants to be in the garden, though. Maybe you should ask Terry to incorporate it into some feature he’s making out there.
    My mum once found a ceramic head (like belonging to a puppet or something) buried near where they lived when she was a kid, and it’s freaked me out for most of my childhood years, mostly because it’s freaky and ugly and she used to keep it on the windowsill of her bedroom. Ick.

    May 2, 2014
  • Ah…is there a chance that the developers had soil brought in when they were building the homes? Years ago, when rejuvenating my sad and sorry yard, I had several loads of soil delivered. I used to find odd things in it. Found a shoe once, which I never gave a second thought…until now. Now, I’m thinking, what if the shoe belonged to a foot? duh,duh, duh, duuuuuhhhh….

    May 2, 2014
      • Manon


        Modern houses are normally build about half a meter above the ground level or street. To avoid water (from rain) flooding the house.
        So it is a requirement to buy soil to level the house out (it depends on whether the house has a cellar and if that soil is useful). So this was probably a measurement from the architect or building company if your house was build ready to move in (in german they call that Schlüsselfertig = key ready).
        And if a house is build the ground around is mostly full of stones and debris, so to build a garden soil is needed, even if nobody ever startet to build one.

        May 3, 2014
  • Amber, usually I come here and revel in being “part of your 50s skirt-filled world”, but reading this post was like entering Ursula’s creepy cave!

    Or perhaps Jane Eyre, but I’ve stumbles into the madwoman’s attic filled with eclectic weird objects…

    Creepyyyyyyyyy times!!! But interesting… Definitely take it to Antiques Roadshow! 🙂

    May 2, 2014
  • Moni


    I’m not an antique expert but what strikes as unusual is that the glass is not completely clear or frosted like in modern pieces, it does not look perfect which implies vintage?? Just a thought!!

    May 2, 2014
  • I dare you to light a candle in it. I bet that will unleash the magic. Like Hocus Pocus, but without SJP.

    May 2, 2014
  • Could be valuable Terry love you xxx

    May 2, 2014
  • Emma Walters


    The garden looks fab, the cherub cute with a hint of creepy lol.

    May 3, 2014
  • Emma


    I was intrigued, so did some googling. I’ve found a few similar ones in the States (like this one: I’m not sure if yours is an angel, a cherub or Cupid.

    How odd!

    May 3, 2014
  • Myra


    You found a cherub and Terry was meant to find it. I know you will think this is mad but it is a blessing. Maybe Terry should put it back where he found it, leaving people a hundred years from now to question its source.
    And you wouldn’t have found it unless you were digging up the green stuff 🙂

    May 3, 2014
  • Amelia


    That is a strange find considering that your garden is so new. My dad always used to find teeeny tiny horseshoes in his garden. Very strange until we found out a cobbler used to live and work there: in olden times shoes had metal heels shaped like horseshoes.

    May 3, 2014
  • Aunt fiona


    Wonderful job on the garden. Let’s hope the sun comes out for a long time xxx.

    May 4, 2014
  • When I was wee, my pals and I were forever stealing household objects and putting them in our gang-huts in the bushes. Maybe some random kids did something on the land which is now your garden?

    In a weird way, I actually kind of like that candleholder, not sure why, but I do!

    May 6, 2014
  • elle


    Burying a weapon????????

    May 9, 2014
  • Fran


    If when the house was built some topsoil was brought over to prepare the ground for a garden, as is often done even in countryside properties, the candle-holder could have come with the earth and have been unloaded with it. We had similar work done years ago in my dad’s family farmhouse, and after a while all sorts of things started turning up in the earth.

    If it is modern. If it is older than fifty years someone might have stolen it and buried it so it might not be found, meaning to come later for it but never doing so. it’s how a lot of Roman-era artefacts are found; they were hidden and then forgotten about.

    August 9, 2014
  • Elizabeth


    I used to dig around in the vegetable patch with a metal detector- but the most I found was a few pennies with King George (and once King Edward) on them.
    Then one day my Dad had to do some gardeny-landscapey thing and he turned over loads of soil.
    A few days later my metal detector started registering ‘silver coins’. My Mum laughed at me “as if your going to find silver coins in our garden!” But then I dug down and found an old rag, unfurled it and inside were SILVER COINS!!!

    Weirdly though, they all had Chinese/Japanese characters on them- except for one that turned out to be the only silver one, and when I googled a description of that one it came up with loads of websites about counterfit Chinese antique coins- or ‘fantasy coins’.

    August 26, 2015