30 July 2013

Our garden - the hideaway

Our garden isn’t very big, just a few metres squared. There is no grass, but the flowers I’d planted in May have crept up tall, and now bow to the left where they can see the most sun. I liked the idea of lots of flower pots dotted around and had gone berserk buying herbs at the garden centre. I hadn’t quite realised the creeper would kill sage and that ‘chocolate mint’ would go skinny with so much sun. The lady next door must have planted her enormous rose bush more than thirty years ago and those pale pink roses that blush deep crimson in the middle look down on me and bob gently when the wind blows. The cat spreads herself out on the mossy table and yawns. It’s her garden really, but I carefully nudge her out the way to make space for my computer so I can sit and write to you. I’d bought our Jasmine plant when we had first moved to London. It’s survived three winters, quite happy in the big blue pot I’d pinched from outside our first tiny flat, four floors up (which of course, means it has survived being lugged four floors down).

After a day at work with people talking nonsense about things that perhaps don’t matter to me much at all, I’m glad that the only things I notice now are the aeroplanes streaking across a pale blue sky and a few birds circling the chimney pots. Early June the creeper started covering our fence, weaving in and around the slats, encircling our tiny garden until it grew so much it became a great green carpet along our garden path.  I had to stop Liam from chopping off the feelers, the branches that wave out and look like chicken’s feet all pink and curled up tight waiting to feel something to hold on to. The creeper might have murdered my sage, but to me, it’s created a place that no one in London can see or touch unless I invite them in. My garden is only a small few square metres of space but in the hot buzz and dust of London, it’s a space I can go to and know I can be me.