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Wednesday, 10 June 2009
I’d love to be able to say that I’ve watched my garden evolve over the years as I’ve matured as a gardener. Sadly that would be lying. An evolution implies a process of gradual change - what happens in my garden is more akin to the half crazed actions of a teenager lurching from teeny-bop pop princess to goth queen galore and then finally back to human.
What I’m yet to work out is: is my garden an expression of me or am I an expression of my garden? Oh dear, how hideous, I can practically see the pretention oozing out of the keyboard as I type.
Let’s try again shall I? We moved into this flat two years ago, almost to the day. The terrace began its transformation from “outdoor space” to “garden” the very next day. For the first 2 or 3 months everything was about keeping things ordered and clean. Neat rows of plants; matching pots; only white and purple flowers need apply. I’ve always seen myself as being a bit of a chaotic person, so no one was more surprised by this new found sense of order than me.
Then the local cheapy shop ran out of the aforementioned patching pots. Disaster. You may think I’m joking, I’m not. DISASTER. I was crippled. The boyfriend made valiant attempts to find me look-a-likes but none were quite similar enough. And then suddenly, just like that, the blinkers were lifted and I realised it just didn’t matter. The freedom.
The next moment of liberation felt a little like being slapped in the face with a wet fish. It went a little something like this...
Me: “Mum, come round for lunch and see what I’ve done with the garden! It’s looks so lovely!”
Mum: “Hmm, I’ve got to say, it looks a little like an old lady’s front garden on the morning that the WI was coming to tea. The lunch is nice though.”
Out with the pansies, in with the lobelias and wayfaring stragglers.
Then along came the bath tub. That really opened my thinking and made me realise that there needn’t be any rules. I could plant anything, anywhere in whatever I liked. And so I do. Old vases, wicker baskets, even a bright orange champagne case found at the recycling banks. What I’d really like is a toilet, just to complete the bathroom set…
I can’t help but feel that this new found sense of freedom and creativity has spilled over into other aspects of my life. Perhaps that’s not surprising. Having the space to create and nurture a living, functional, beautiful environment really is pretty special isn’t it?
The most recent transformation has come about because the terrace has two new inhabitants who have posed a serious challenge for the time, space and attention previously reserved for the vegetables… we now have two baby rabbits…
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