Saturday, 13 October 2012
Wearily reclaiming the wilderness
He/she has been nesting? webbing? inhabiting a corner of (I must stress, the outside ) of my sitting room window for a couple of weeks.
Amazing but true, I have found myself each morning after the previous night's gales or deluges, checking to see that the 'creature' had survived, and breathing a sigh of relief to find it well and in situ.
Either I am going completely gaga, or I'm starting to get to grips with my life-long fear, horror, phobia of the eight-legged beasts.
Beyond it, you can see a worm's eye view of my once lovely (I thought), front garden. It together with the only fractionally larger back garden has suffered severe neglect during the three years since John's death.
At first I had no interest - in that or anything else - and later, two awful winters followed by a busier life led to a slowly developing wilderness.
A few weeks ago I suffered a sort of epiphany, when a good friend invited me to go with her to Highgrove for the day. Suddenly my long dormant love of gardening surfaced and the resolve to rescue my poor 'briar patch' was born.
Since then, we have had torrential rain on most days, and on the few days when I've been around and have had time and energy to work outside some other more pressing duty has taken precedence and only a few
brief 'sorties into the interior' have been risked.
The last couple of days have seen a more determined effort emerging and at last, I'm beginning to see shrubs I had last seen a couple of years ago beginning to appear from the undergrowth.
Like my father, I am a totally undisciplined gardener, and I have only to see something which really appeals to me and I never give up until I've acquired one, whether or not it is deemed suitable for my soil or geographical location.
This is not as haphazard as it sounds, and has often produced something truly spectacular, if alien, and has been quite a talking-point in days gone by.
It is cold windy and rain is again threatening, but this morning I have cut back a huge shrub rose and weeded around it, dead-headed roses, buddleia, and a still blooming thalictrum, The garden is still full of colour and I know if I can only stick to my resolve, will once again become my pride and joy with the advantage of having something in bloom every day of the year.
It is even possible that I may find the courage to venture into an area which I know to be inhabited by quite large spiders.
Courage is not, notably, one of my virtues (if there are any), but at this late stage I am still hoping to grow some.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 1:19:00 pm