Saturday, 11 August 2007

Presenting my Garden...(back yard)

On Saturday, I tidied my garden.

This is where I feel I need to say that, I know it's not much: it is small, the patio is a disgrace and trust me - I know that I have a very ugly shed.

Furthermore, I realise that my garden is not a particularly tranquil place.

"What?," I hear you cry, "A garden - not a tranquil place to knit?!"

Well, you see, where I live....
....planes* fly overhead every two minutes between 5am and midnight. No exaggeration.

Sadly, this picture is not zoomed. I did like concorde but I am glad it doesn't fly overhead anymore - that was a real conversation stopper.

Also, a pub car park** squats over the back wall.

But hey, despite these setbacks, I do not really mind. I like my garden because it is home to my plants.

I have grown just about everything that you can see in the pictures over the past nine years.

You know, I am not sure why I am sharing this - I think that I felt self conscious about my garden when I took pictures of Megan out here the other evening - it looked distinctly neglected.

Actually, it still does but at least it is looking a little neater now.

None of the following pictures match the text, by the way - as chaotic as my planting!

I have left the Aqueligia plants where they have self seeded between the patio slabs but I have tidied up the foxgloves as I have plenty of seedlings in the borders too.

I used to be afraid of foxgloves when I was little because they were poisonous.

I used to come across them, great tall things with dappled flowers, in shady dells or glens and I would edge respectfully past them - that is, until I saw the bees that happily trundle in and out of them without any mishap.

So I have them in my garden now, along with a lot of honeysuckle, because both remind me of my childhood.

To this day, I doubt that there is anything, that really competes with walking unexpectedly through the scent of wild honeysuckle.

None of the garden varieties that I grow smell anything close - not to mention the fact that they prefer to flowering on the other side of the fence, so I never get to see or smell them either - ungrateful things!

Generally, I stopped growing annuals and bulbs the last time that hosepipe bans were imposed in London which coincided with me having less time to garden.

So the last few years have been about keeping the important shrubs and perennials alive.

While this has meant less contunity of flowering and colour (very important in a small space), I am still proud of the plants that have overcome my sparodic watering efforts and survived anyway.

Take my peonies, roses and this this dinnerplate dahlia, for example - it never gets lifted and it comes back every year as glorious as the last.

I am very lucky that all these things like where they are planted.

That said, my garden is scattered with accidents as I have a terrible habit of rescuing plants from garden centres, 90% dead and nursing them back to life. Or things that seem like such an unmissable bargain at the end of their season (usually 75% off, with the tag missing) and I have no idea what horror I have unleashed on my carefully thought out small space until they burst into action the following year.

Yet, I quite like those accidents. Sometimes things look better when they evolve organically, rather than being thought out to the nth degree. I doubt that would ever have chosen to buy an orange patio standard rose if it hadn't been so cheap (and looked like it was red in its photo) but it has cheerfully (and relentlously) expoded into minature colour every year for the past four years!

As a result, I have introduced some plants in colours that make it look a little more like it is supposed to be there...!

Like I said, it's not much but I do care about my plants and I do enjoy my garden.

* * * * *

*Planes: my mother flinches every time she comes to visit, thinking that the planes are about to drop onto her head. Like oversized troublesome hornets plopping out of a nest.

**Pub Car Parks: very illuminating living next door to one. People will conduct their affairs in them, believing themselves out of earshot of others.

I have heard language over the past nine years that has even made me, a jaded Londoner, blush.

And that is saying something.

Partners confront each other in furious whispers and/or at full volume unacceptable behaviour, grievances, infidelities and levels of inebriation.

Some individuals make arrangements to hook up later with mistresses, mates and aquaintances with recreational substances (just as soon as they can jettison their current company) and failing anything else for entertainment, I can always count on the pub's resident alsation to bark and keep me company. Endlessly.

Oh and right on cue, out beyond the wall...woof!

I don't watch any tv soaps. I do not need to as, trust me, it is all going on very colourfully over the end of my garden wall.

It's enough to challenge the plants, themselves.


Robynn said...

You do know how to handle a camera, don't you? Now I'm eager to come round again, and check out the garden this time, because it really looks rather lovely. I'm a big fan of slightly messy, not over-manicured gardens, and you seem to have gotten yours just right. I'm even jealous of the pub conversations - I love eavesdropping on strangers - although that might get tired when they're all rowdy and emotional, and I'm just tired.

Kelli said...

I love it, ungainly, unmanicured, whatever you call it. :) I have a very large yard and potential, but no time and no inclination at this point in my life to create that little spot of heaven I see through your camera lens.