This is never going to be a perfect, or even a tidy garden. I don’t mind that and I don’t think Tim does either. We strolled about the demesne (heh) yesterday and I pointed to the thick bank of nettles alongside the beck, in an approving gesture. Plenty of cover for small creatures, food for caterpillars, fodder for aphids that feed birds and ladybirds, and a general mild untidiness that I completely approve of. Overall, it’s reasonably tidy, nowadays. You can walk around without wearing wellies, at any rate, though it takes a degree of vigilance.
If you’ve been here, you’ll know that there’s a patch of rough grass by the side porch. There used to be a lovely cherry tree and another small tree – can’t remember at the moment, though it’ll come to me. Anyway, they both died abruptly three or four years ago, so now it’s just grass, with bulbs and wild flowers in there. I love it. There are just marguerites in flower now, along with the seeding grasses.
I appreciate grass very much. I had a long chat with a farmer friend once, whose university dissertation had been on grasses. When I mentioned that to Tim the other day, he said that a retired lecturer friend had been a Professor of Grass, which made me quite excited until I realised that I couldn’t sustain a conversation on the subject for more than a minute or two. I could barely listen intelligently.
Years ago, the school my older two children went to had a social evening at a local hotel, owned by the parents of a couple of pupils. It was a lovely summer’s night and we all ate outdoors and sat chatting. I found myself next to a nice chap, who was shy and tongue-tied, until someone mentioned bees. His face lit up. He knew about bees. And that’s what he talked about for the rest of the evening. I brought out all I knew on the subject to keep in with what otherwise might have been a monologue. At some point, I realised that everyone else at the table – including his wife – had quietly slipped away, and only I was left to nod and smile. I decided to take it that I’d made his evening a success and that this should be my reward. His surname was Strange, as it happens, which is totally a coincidence, because he wasn’t. Just shy, and he needed something to make him confident to be able to engage in conversation.
Anyway, I have met Tim’s friend and he does have other subjects of conversation and is good company. But back to the rough grass. It’ll have to be cut down in another week or two, but it’s still green and lovely. All the same, I did cut a foot’s width around it today, to stop it flopping onto the drive and the paving. I’m not sure if that’s giving in to convention. But no matter. I gave the cut grass to the chickens and they were thrilled. They ate a lot of it, which probably included insects too, and scuffled the rest around their house.
We’ve worked out a system for watering pots, at last. We’ve got quite a number, near the house, and it’s always quite a nuisance to lug up watering cans or extend a hose, to keep them going. Life has to be easy nowadays. It’s no good pretending I’m going to bother with something that’s more effort than it seems to be worth.