Saturday, 29 June 2013

My Little English Garden ...

When I was a little girl the garden meant nothing to me. At least, when I say nothing I mean that the upkeep and general hard work of a garden meant nothing to me. When I complained of having nothing to do my mum would offer me the chance to do the weeding ... a chance I always declined.

Our garden was big and sloping, dotted with fruit trees that gave us heavenly apples, pears and plums each year, with the the top of the garden hidden away from the house by a screen of trees. Behind those trees was my favourite part of the garden ... at the end of a narrow, shady pathway lay a secret vegetable patch.

I remember lazy days alone in that secret garden, making stables from long, dried grass for my toy horses and lying under the fruit bushes sucking the sweet insides of gooseberries until my tummy was full and my fingers sticky. My imagination ran wild up there and in my memory it was always summer ...

That garden is gone now, bulldozed to make a swimming pool the long hot summer of 1976. Our garden was still lovely, with the added bonus of free swimming every day, but it had lost its magical quality.

I forgot about gardens for a long time. They were the haunt of old people and I did not understand the complexities of planting or weeding... And yet that garden of my childhood was always there at the back of my mind ... the secret club house in the depths of the laurel tree, the golden rod, alive with bees, and, of course, that vegetable garden, now buried under tons of white, chalky soil.

It may be because I am heading towards being an "old" person, or it may be that I am trying to recreate the feeling of calm and beauty that the garden of my childhood gave me. Whatever the reason, gardening fills my life more and more... whether its my postage stamp of a back garden or my allotment, my time at both is time spent happily.

I am not a brilliant gardener, but I read and listen to people who are good gardeners and, as if by magic, plants grow. There is nothing more beautiful than to sit in my garden on a balmy evening, glass of wine in hand, nibbles in a bowl, watching the blackbird hopping about the wet grass searching for worms.

I love the butterflies on my buddleia and the bees around the lavender ...

Its difficult to put into words, but if you are a gardener you will know ... There is order and tranquility and a feeling that everything is right with the world.


Grace said...

Lovely pix and lovely words. Am so happy that the gardens are all looking great and that the sun is finally shining!

sarah at secret housewife said...

Hello Grace. Thank you so much. I'm really glad you liked the post - it really brought back memories of childhood for me. Sarah x

Inkling said...

I was so happy to see you put up a gardening post. It is always such a treat to see your handiwork that partners with the sun and the rain to make such beauty.

Lo said...

I am swooning at those gorgeous photos and your delightful description. I wish you had identified that glorious orange flower.

And thank you again for the have changed my life. Itis an amazing experience.

sarah said...

Thank you Inkling. I would love to see your garden too :0)

Hello Lo! Thank you!! So glad you like it. The orange flower is a poppy that self seeded but I thought was gorgeous! Am so glad that the FD is going well!! Keep going!

Sarah xxx

Urban Cynic said...

I am not one of life's gardeners (well I don't think so but I've never had a garden so you never know!) but I do like to hang out in them.

I love sitting there quietly with an assortment of unknown scents wafting past my nose, and hearing the soft buzz buzz of bees as they go about their day. I love that there's this teeming microcosm going on that we can only imagine, and I love that sitting in a garden can transport you anywhere.

I like white roses myself. Maybe I'll see about that garden one day. x

Sarah said...

You summed up just how I feel about gardens Urban Cynic! I love white roses too and I would love to have a section of garden that was just white and green ... Blouse and cool ...mmmmm One day maybe I will see pictures of your garden??! Hope so xxx

Older Mum said...

Such a lovely post - loved reading about your childhood garden. I have recently moved into a new home with a garden and I have caught the bug too. Being in my garden helps to make me much calmer - I never knew I would find weeding so satisfying.X

Helen said...

Wonderful pictures lovely pink rose and peony i love the sunlight you have coming through the garden in one of your shots makes it look very dreamy

Mama Syder said...

I so get what you mean by the garden giving you a feeling of tranqulity, especially with a glass of wine in hand. Gorgeous post & photos x

Mammasaurus said...

I am a pretty shocking gardener but I love being in gardens, soaking it all up and appreciating it in a way I never did when I was 20 something. Lovely post and sentiment, can relate to it so much.
Thanks for joining in and sharing x

afternibbin. said...

I know exactly what you mean, I am at my happiest and calmest in my garden, even when weeding which really is saying something. Your garden looks lovely by the way :)

NYLon living said...

Funny, I felt the same way. My parents gardened and I thought it was boring. Now, I adore my titchy little garden. Every day seeing what is new and what needs to be deadheaded etc. I see change in minute form in front of me...not boring at all. I now know that I'm finally an adult!!!

sarah at secret housewife said...

Hello Older Mum
Thanks for reading and commenting! I could almost taste those gooseberries of my childhood garden so glad you enjoyed my post!

Hi Helen
Thanks for your comment! I'm chuffed you liked my photos and post!

Hi Mama Syder
So glad you came over and glad you liked my post!!

Hello Mammasaurus
Thanks for organising the gardening Linky! I love it!

Hello Afternibbin
Its funny how weeding can be very relaxing! So happy you enjoyed my post. Thanks for commenting!

Hello NYLon Living
It is a sign of growing up isn't it??! If you had told me I would have a pretty garden and an allotment a few years ago I would have laughed!

Thank you all for coming by and leaving such lovely comments!