Thursday, 11 August 2016

English country gardens.

If I were to copy Maria's song from The Sound of Music and list a few of my favourite things, the top three would be -  dance, music and an English garden.  I was fortunate to have a father who loved to grow things. He took me to Southport Flower show several times and I would always choose a miniature rose to bring home. I grew up watching and helping him transform our overgrown pub garden into a bit of heaven, winning Best Kept Pub in Lancashire for three years.

Having read The Secret Garden aged eleven, I wanted my own little space to grow things.  I also developed a love of trees. I think it is a real shame that many people don't understand how a tree will grow if they plant it in a small garden. I despair when I see a potentially 80ft copper beech planted too close to a garden wall. Trees need a lot of space both above and below ground.

My own garden is proud to contain a wonderful bay tree that I planted myself 16 years ago.  I prune it back vigorously every year, keeping the roots compact and it is a wonderful conical shape. If I ever leave my house, I will have to find a very good home for my bay. It is one of the family. I also have a very sad apple tree in the back garden and have planted another reasonably close, so that when its life span ends, the new tree will take its place. Trees do so much to replenish the nutrients in the water table. They are miraculous.

I know that we haven't really had a traditional Summer so far this year but there have been a few sultry evenings, when sitting in the garden until dark was lovely. I hope that, as in the past few years, a late flurry of clement weather will grace our September days. I hope to host an afternoon tea on the lawn for a few friends to introduce them to my first grandchild.  Fingers crossed... 


Le Bal des Fleurs 

Rhododendron fall to seed,
peonies droop their heavy, windswept heads,
the daffodils are silent for another year
and nature holds her breath.  

Almost unnoticed, flecks of burgundy appear,
jasmine stars light up the backdrop fence
and Summer spills onto the stage
with honeysuckle bursting into bloom. 

The Corps de Ballet, dance in from the wings,
prance and plié to the warm breeze suite
and spread to fill the border space.  
A rush of tutus:  pure white marguerite.

Delphinium in fifty shades of blue,
waltz with lupines dipped in dew.
interlacing gossamer gypsophila,
shimmers in the sunlight beams.

Climbing peace with lemon tips,
cascading pastel limbs from a rustic arch
fragrance the air. In the footlights,
a parade of scarlet: Geraniums stand guard.

Scented stocks crowd into shady corners,
wearing vibrant pink and lilac frocks.
Gladiolas splay their spectral heads:
Yellow, through to flaming reds.  

Now the colour reaches a crescendo.
Against the turquoise, cloudless sky,
baskets overflow, mood indigo,
while fuchsia ballerinas pirouette.

As finale, arum lilies centre stage,
perform a gentle Par des Deux,
taking bows as dusky curtain falls,
first him, then her.
Thank you for reading.  Adele


Lady Curt said...

Very descriptive...I was there in the garden..