Summer is finally here and with that, like every year, its time to hit the garden for the first time in ages.
Actually, I wouldn’t even say I am a part-time gardener, more of a once in a decade sort of person. Since I have been used to having a number of children playing in what can best be described as a ‘wild’ garden, others less kind would probably describe it as ‘a mess’ – I have been reluctant to spend too much time if any maintaining the wilderness.
Besides, the kids loved the unkempt look. For them it was more akin to an adventure playground. For the adults, it was an accident waiting to happen, but it never did by some miracle.
With the sun about to set late one afternoon this week, I decided to tackle the rockery. At least, 15 years ago it had started out as a rockery. More recently it would be best described as a mound covered in weeds and ivy with the occasional boulder thrown in for good measure.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take long before I had removed all the offending blemishes and even one or two of the large rocks, leaving just a pile of earth with hundreds of roots jutting up from all angles. It looked more like a spiky mound of earth than a rockery, but the signs were promising.
The next morning, buoyed by my efforts and somewhat surprised that I hadn’t pulled or torn anything and didn’t require a visit to a medical centre, I thought I would continue operation ‘restore hope’ this time with the assistance of my beloved partner. She to be fair, was far keener than I for some reason, and sure enough, after an hour or so, my enthusiasm had waned somewhat.
I left her to it and decided I should spend a couple of hours working in my office, just so I could justify the playing around in the garden. After a while, I was somewhat surprised to find my daughter’s mother – ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ knocking on my door. I opened it only to find her sobbing, decrying the fact that ‘she’ – my partner – was destroying the rockery.
Taken aback, I had to point out that I had ‘destroyed’ the rockery the night before and why did she care, she hadn’t touched the garden in years.
As always, she was quick with a repost although I’m not sure she had actually thought it through. In one breath she claimed the rockery was where my daughter’s friends used to play and with the other breath she claimed she was about to give the rockery a ‘make over’ whilst we were away on holiday next month, it was going to be a surprise.
The thing is, and as usual, I never got around to saying at that exact moment, probably because I was so shocked by her reaction – the friends she was referring to, we hadn’t actually seen in four or five now. And to be best of my knowledge, I wasn’t aware that the rockery had been designated as some kind of shrine to their memory!
And the other point, which I also failed to mention at that exact moment, probably because I’m so damned useless in confrontations; she can hardly complain about preserving the rockery whilst also claiming that she was about to give it a make over next month!
Okay, in reality I suspect this is more to do with the fact that my partner is messing around in the garden, and ‘Ms Brodie’ rightly regards this as a direct threat to her own presence here. Either way, it was a hysterical overreaction. So much for a peaceful day pottering around the garden.