For the first time yesterday afternoon, Daniel was crawling around our garden, examining blades of grass and nasturtium petals that come up to his nose.
The garden is a length of very scraggy grass, dotted with dandelions. Down the centre is an old brick path. The grass on the left hand side of the path is ours, the grass on the other side is our neighbours’. We both have a strip of flowerbed running down each fence. The neighbours’ side is low maintenance: the soil is covered in bark out of which grow three tall rose bushes, two low shrubs with mottled leaves and a Japanese maple. They also have some very colourful flowers in pots.
For the last two years I’ve planted nasturtiums on our side which have flourished, climbing over the fence and creeping out into the grass. They move so fast I’m sure you could watch them grow if you sat for an hour. Even this year, when I haven’t planted any, the little round leaves are appearing all over the place. We also have jasmine, lavender, oregano, mint and rosemary in pots, flowering stock, lambs lugs, a climbing rose and a green bush. Last year we grew tomatoes. Its a sunny, south facing place and plants seem to enjoy being there.
Like others before me, I’ve learnt some things in my garden:
1) Planning in November what you want to see in June is a good idea (planning, even what I do next week, is not one of my natural abilities).
2) Believing that that stick will one day become a rose bush and that speck a mass of orange flowers is not crazy.
3) Plants need watered – often.
4) If one day we all stop gardening and stay inside and watch TV, the walls and streets and houses of London will disappear under the weight of Japanese bindweed – and that will take less time than you think.