I’m cheating with today’s blog because I haven’t actually had to engage the old brain to come up with something to write about. No I hear you say. No. Today’s inspiration came from one of my lovely followers – Mud’s wife, Elaine – Thelandroverownerswife.
Elaine mentioned in a comment to me that she has a passion for collecting gardening paraphernalia which brought a memory to my mind.
Two years ago, George, my elderly neighbour died. He was a lovely man and like my father bred to the ways of the countryside. George and his wife, Gwen, were both manic gardeners. Their garden was the talk of the neighbourhood and people actually came to see it. When Gwen passed away George continued doing as much as he could but life had cruel intentions and deemed fit to bend and cripple his spine making it impossible for him to continue with his garden. I took it on one year and he would toddle up his path and sit with me, chatting away, telling me all about black fly infestation on broad beans and how his ‘earth’ was so good because just after the war they had kept chickens.
George lived long enough to see the broad beans flourish – but not much longer – and it was one of the saddest days of my life. I remember standing in my garden looking over at George’s garden and it was almost as if it had stopped breathing. Nothing moved. I remember scrubbing away tears.
George’s family said if there was anything I wanted to take from the garden to do so. I took two garden forks and a spade. Wooden handles, blades and prongs sharpened and polished until they gleamed. That was the way with people like George. They looked after things. I don’t use George’s tools, they are far too precious for me to use them but I will keep them – always.
I also took three blackcurrant bushes and two gooseberry bushes. Last year we made wine with the blackcurrants and crumbles for the freezer with the gooseberries. This year I shall make blackcurrant jam. They are already pushing out vivid green leaves. I often wonder if he is ‘up there’ watching me? And I still sometimes scratch my head and think, ‘What would George do?’ And the weirdest thing is – the answer often comes to me.
I wrote a poem about George’s garden, or what remains of it. Things change.
Back To Nature …
The garden stands abandoned
Its heartbeat slowed by time
Nettles invade a forgotten sandpit
A see-saw, broken, rotting in the brambles
Small feet no longer patter, bare
Across cobbles, green with morbid moss
Weeds, gargantuan, link their arms in defiance
As nature reclaims her own.
On a lighter note, if you remember, I said yesterday that Chea’s greatest fascination is now patting and swiping at bees? And I said it is only a matter of time before some irate bee pats back? Yes? Yesterday afternoon a wasp ventured into the kitchen and it was a wonderful source of interest to Chea. This was far more interesting than a sedate, pollen-collecting bee. Because this critter buzzed. Really buzzed. Especially when it kept hitting its head against the roof window. I thought no more about it, it wasn’t like Chea could get up to the roof.
An hour later I caught her licking her paw. On inspection the paw had swollen to three times its normal size. She didn’t seem unduly bothered. A right little warrior queen. I’m hoping she has filed this experience along with climbing conifers and won’t be rushing to repeat it. But who knows, hey?
Bit rushed today because I’m off to do something concerning one of my books. No, really, I am.
Take care my lovelies x