Where Once Was a Garden

21 Sep


I always feel guilty when I think about the original owners of our house. At sometime in the past the garden was laid out with a loving attention to detail and no small amount of skill. That much was evident when we moved in despite the previous owners’ lack of care. However, our stewardship can only be described as neglect coupled with vandalism. This is what happens when you spend long periods of time away from home.

At first it just became terribly overgrown, out of control really. In all honesty, drastic measures were probably called for. To facilitate this there then occurred the brand of chainsaw gardening that would make Alan Titchmarsh’s blood run cold. The garden fence, weighed down with aggressive ivy, was repaired and two hawthorn trees that had outgrown their allotted spaces were removed. In the process few plants survived.

Neglect did the rest. Nature abhors a vacuum and the cleared space was soon filled. Nettles, brambles, rosebay willow herb, creeping buttercups, bindweed and the ever-present dandelions moved in with a vengeance. Pathways, steps and patios turned green as virulent weeds filled every nook and cranny despite spraying in the spring. The wisteria which had been untouched in the chainsaw massacre grew heavy, weighing down its supporting framework, fronds dangling down in triffid-like profusion. And the lawn, oh dear God, the lawn.

So, yet again, an attempt at some sort of control had to be made. The mower struck swaths threw the jungle, clogging the blades and filling the compost bin in no time. The profusion of willow herb, already dying back, was wrenched from the ground, the last of the seeds floating aimlessly in the still air, irritating eyes and nose before settling on the soil ready to start the whole cycle again next year. Nettles stung and brambles scratched and still nothing much seemed to have been achieved beyond a pile of weeds wilting on the concrete where once a green house stood.

But then just stop and look around. In the midst of this disorder is beauty. Nature likes to be left alone. Although the robin on the fence post seemed to approve of my efforts. 


Smothering and pernicious, the flower of bindweed dazzles against its leaves


Self-seeded this is one weed that will be staying. Anybody know what it is? 


Where once gold fish swam, there’s now a new occupant of the clogged up pond.


And fungus springs up in the moist underbelly. 



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