Garden Talk


Stalking my Cottage Garden

Posted by Catharine on April 29th 2010
The cottage garden is just that  - a bit of everything from vegetables, to dahlias through ponds and roses.  It is an undesigned sort of place,  but practical can be beautiful.  I have been on the hunt for one to visit and photograph  so that the gardening chores  can become a monthly subject.   Accompanied by photographs, of course. Last Friday's walk revealed the perfect subject. We peered over the hedge and gawped.  Gnome, pond, greenhouse, scale model of a windmill, roses hard-pruned softened by the old fashioned little pansies called heartsease.  Yesterday I went back  to knock and ask permission. On the last lap up the hill, what had seemed a brilliant plan took on a preposterous dimension.  Why had I driven there in our junk yard car - bumper  taped in with duct tape, L plates flapping in the wind?  Maybe you are what you drive and I now felt shifty, untrustworthy and likely to break down. But I had knocked and just long enough a pause to exult in my getaway when, very quietly a gracious and small grey-haired lady appeared round the corner, wrapped in a maroon dressing-gown.  The intrusion was taken in the friendliest spirit.  Her husband, Derek was the garden maker but a stroke this time last year has forced her to become the hands-on gardener.  "I could never understand why he used to spend so much time in the garden"  Daphne told me as she showed me round 2 small greenhouses with overwintering plants and marigolds and bedding dahlias putting on a spurt. She fetched a folder full of photos of the garden from previous years.  Part of a teaching aid to help Derek recover from his stroke.  We chatted as we looked round:  as a married couple they moved into the house one year after they married.   They were waiting for the cottage to become available as Derek's job was a farmworker on the adjoining land. That was 53 years ago. More of this when I go back to get my photographs - I am waiting for a sunny early morning.
Stalking my  Cottage Garden