In the listening lesson “The Chair!”, I talked about how I wanted a chair to sit in on the back deck, which is in my backyard and connected to my house. The backyard of a house also usually has a garden.
Let’s look at some expressions with the words ‘garden’ and ‘backyard.’
to lead someone up/down the garden path
= to intentionally mislead or deceive someone; to intentionally cause someone to believe something that is untrue; to give someone false information or to promise something that never materializes. The result of this false information is that you’ve wasted your time waiting for something that is never going to happen.
The politicians have been leading us all down the garden path with their talk about creating jobs.
The hotel we stayed in was terrible. Our travel agent lead us down the garden path. We were expecting a luxury hotel!
He was promised a generous raise by his boss, but he was really being lead down the garden path.
= common, ordinary, unremarkable, nothing special, unexceptional
My daughter is sick today. It’s nothing serious – just a garden-variety cold.
I didn’t think the band’s new album was anything special. It sounds like a garden-variety rock album.
Have you seen Leonardo DiCaprio’s new movie? Is it interesting or is it just a garden-variety thriller?
in your backyard
= in addition to the area directly your house, in your backyard could also mean the general area around or close to your home or neighbourhood.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive vacation, look no farther than your own backyard. There are some great places to visit within a 30-minute drive from here.
You don’t have to go very far for a good education. There are some great colleges and universities in our backyard!
I want to try a new restaurant for dinner tonight. I’m looking for something in my backyard!
“not in my backyard”
A neighbourhood or community may be opposed to something being built or developed in their area, but are not opposed to the idea in general (and will support it being built/developed somewhere else)
For example, wind farms are a very controversial issue in my province. People are generally supportive of wind energy, they just don’t want the actual wind turbines erected in their community for a variety of reasons.
We support the building of wind turbines, just not in our backyard!
Local residents say, “not in my backyard” to the construction of a nuclear reactor.