“Brain,” says the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, as if having one would make everything alright. But I know very brainy people who will never be as happy as a scarecrow because they think too much and mostly about the wrong things. Rowli Pugh
In Welsh, a scarecrow is a Bwgan Brain – which means a Crow Bogie not a Brain Bogie. I’ve been making Scarecrows for our garden for ages. At first they were anonymous, vaguely human shapes stuck on sticks but a few years ago, I made one called Trevor who, for some reason, attracted a lot of public attention. Trevor was joined by his wife Lucille. She was not refined. How many blonde female scarecrows have you seen wearing leopardskin print leggings and low cut flouncy blouses. Eventually, Trevor and Lucille produced off spring and their antics led to press coverage, radio interviews and a spot on a television programme. You can get an idea of what I’m talking about here.
It turns out that scarecrows move home in the middle of the night so you can wake up one day with completely new neighbours. Eventually Trevor and Lucille left and were replaced by Rowli and Cati Pugh. Nice people but they never quite reached the heights of popularity attained by Trevor & Co.
We’ve been managing without scarecrows for a couple of years now but opening our garden for the NGS Gardens Open for Charity Scheme was the perfect excuse to make another scarecrow. If you’ve never made a scarecrow, here’s the way I do it but if you browse through sites like this you can get more ideas.
Start off with a long stick for the head and body. You will need to bury at least a foot of the stick in the ground. I made the head for mine out of a linen bag, painted with permanent felt pens and stuffed with sheep’s wool although the inside of an old cushion will do as well.
Put a short cross bar on for the shoulders. Either tie it or nail it in place. Assemble the clothes your scarecrow is going to wear. Meanwhile put an old cushion pad in a plastic bag and tape onto the stick as the body. Make the limbs out of rolled up bubble wrap and tape them into position too.
Dress the scarecrow. Corky is very traditional but as Lucille proved all those years ago, scarecrows can be glamorous too.
Finally plant your scarecrow in the garden or field. Corky has a blackboard that he uses to write messages or to teach them Welsh.
Mae Bwgan Brain yn syml. Mae e’n siarad Cymraeg yn araf ac yn glir. Mae e’n boblogaidd iawn gyda phobl sy eisiau dysgu Cymraeg.
“It seems to me that smiling is always a better thing to do than frowning. There’s enough things in life to make people frown so I prefer to make people smile. Felly, pan fydd pobl yn gwenu ataf fi, byddaf i’n gwenu atynt nhw. Mae pawb yn hapus.”