Thursday, June 17, 2004

Come frolic in my garden oh brave Knight

One of my birthday presents was a huge gardening encyclopaedia, which reflects the exponential rise in my interest in gardening this year. I had always enjoyed sitting in someone’s garden in the summer and even got as far as admiring a few plants, but I have never had any interest in gardening itself.

Since we bought the house last year I have undergone a transformation. As well as trying to fill the last few gaps in my DIY sticker album, (I only need a ratchet, 3 inch ply and the elusive pipe-wrench – I’ll swap you for a workbench and a tenon saw), I/we have found many a Saturday spent touring garden centres. We almost have too many plants in the back courtyard now. I try to see them every morning while I sip an espresso, have a fag and daydream that my office has burnt down. As soon as I get home I am outside to check their development, water, feed, prune and otherwise encourage them.

My favourites have to be the cherry tree that we bought as a stick a few weeks ago. It looked pathetic falling out of its pot and was little more than a few branches with no greenery. After my tender ministrations it has rewarded me with lots of new leaves and abundant flowers.

Another favourite is the sea holly. I have a bit of an affinity for coastal plants and assume that anything that can survive the sea, salt and wind of the British coastline should be safe in my hands. The holly has beautiful blue/purple colouring to the stems and flower heads and breaks up the lines of the ground level plants.

I would like to think that this new interest is just widening my experience of the world but I know it is one more step towards a comfortable retirement. I'll be booking my allotment soon!