This is to an extent, an accidental garden. There was never a grand plan. The pond is the result of moving a diseased plum tree. We had to fill the hole some way. The stones were once our neighbour’s roadside wall, one of the very ancient field walls, typical of this region. When the road was widened the wall had to go. He very kindly let me take as many stones as I wanted. You couldn’t throw them away. I was younger then and relished the task. We have moved those stones from rockery to paving, to kerbs and walls, to front garden and back again to the back garden. They are staying where they are. Definitely.
We planted a vegetable patch. The eel worms and caterpillars had a field day, as it were. They turned cabbages into lace work. They eradicated our radishes. A young Spanish student demolished all our raspberry canes with a hurley. He was looking for a ball. What could we say? He thought they were weeds. Swings and roundabouts gouged scars into the lawn. What you lose on the swings you also lose on the roundabouts. The children enjoyed them. We grew cherry trees and strawberries for the blackbirds. We had a great pear tree. We had to wear helmets when picking the fruit. A strange canker took hold of it. Its time ran out.
We have a great plum tree. Long may it prosper.
It’s a long story. What do you do when the children have grown up and left? You dig up your accidental garden and extend the house. People ask why? What the hell are you extending your house for at your age? You don’t need the space. Downsize, you eejits. That’s precisely why we extended. We craved the space, the decompression chamber. Daft, I’m sure. Not good economics. There is the matter of the post-builder garden. The damaged lawn to be dug up and raked and seeded and watered and tended and fed. All that back-breaking work…… Ah, sod it.
At a time when the world has gone mad and unspeakable things are done to innocent people, a garden gives some sense of continuity and stability.It may appear to be a trivial preoccupation but it keeps you relatively sane. It tells a part of our story. It does no harm. It keeps us going.