There is nothing so good as messing about in a garden. Kenneth Graham’s toad was wrong about ‘“ there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”. But yes to Thomas Edward Brown ‘A Garden is a lovesome thing.’
We moved here ten years ago and our garden is still a lovesome thing, even if a bit of a jumble to others. My removal men all in matching T shirts and with boss called Dave had staggered in with heavy plants in pots as well as the numerous boxes and assorted furniture. Alan’s removal van was a more sophisticated affair and full of books, but he too had his fair share of plants!
Unlike our tiny gardens in South London we were now on a windy hill facing the sea, but at least we had had the wisdom to choose a house with a south facing garden. Now we had a vast expanse of lawn and nothing much else.
Creating a garden is like a painting, experimental. Winding blocks of grey and brown create pathways, foliage such as and artichokes big bold brush strokes, unruly grass tiny jagged lines, flowers big blobs of red and yellow red, pink and blue.
Best to take time to stand back from time to time for a few hours, days, weeks, months, a year!
There has been plenty of time to wait for it all to happen, to sit in the sun, sip a glass of wine. peer in the pond we had created for frogs and newts, after all how are they supposed to survive without one?
As important was to continue to rescue the battered greenhouse so we could plant a bit more veg. currently our tomatoes and bags of potatoes thrive!
I was also determined to find time to paint or write in a shed bought especially for the purpose, but in truth such activities are still more likely to take place at the kitchen table.
Watering the garden causes the most arguments. Our expensive watering system is always leaking and we are constantly getting out the hose instead or watering from the butts with cans etc. ‘
But this week we will be topping up the bird feeders on a regular basis, covering shrubs for protection against frost and trying to pretend that nothing else in this impossible world matters!
How time flies! Ten years slipped by already!
So ‘From troubles of the world I turn to ducks!’ Yes bring them on…
An extract from Ducks by Frederick William Havey (1830–1897)
FROM troubles of the world
I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool
Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897)
A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot
The veriest school 5
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not—
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
’Tis very sure God walks in mine.