When I started this garden I had this mantra going round in my head…it said:
I will have this garden up and blooming by May
…and (squeal!) I think I’ve done it!…
Like, I’ve had a picnic on the lawn and it feels like I’m in a real live actual proper garden. I love it, and I’ve made loads of schoopid mistakes (including forgetting to stake anything so it’s all falling over, planting things too far apart, or not close enough together…the list is endless.
It’s been an interesting year, in which my life has been completely turned upside-down by a small bundle of chub called the Babety. It’s hard to remember what things were like before she arrived, and I am constantly amazed by how something so small could wield such extraordinary power. When she was born in May last year, I was still living in a flat and gardening in my kitchen and on my balcony. I thought we were fine…I was blissfully happy, but then suddenly, and without warning, in the arctic freeze of December, I woke up one morning (or perhaps I had been up all night with the babety)..anyway, I howled loudly that we were going to have to move, because I needed a garden…and fast.
Looking for houses, buying houses, leaving houses and moving to new houses is not high on my list of happy stuff to do with ones time. It’s a funny, wrenching thing to get involved with, laying yourself open to elation and disappointment in equal measure in the buying and selling…and then having to say goodbye to somewhere you’ve been for many years, somewhere you know intimately – I suppose I’d liken it to a love-affair that comes to an end, by mutual consent, with much sadness, but an admission that you’re not good for each-other any more.
We arrived at our new house on the 11th February this year. It was getting dark when we finally got in, and the boxes, and feeling of rootlessness, and of not knowing where the nappies were was quite unbearable. This is when you’re so very thankful for family support, and you blush with shame to think of how horrid you were to your mother and father for so long….and you thank goodness you have a fabulous Hunk to be marvellous and wonderful on so very many levels. I put the babety to bed, set up my kitchen dresser and felt somewhat comforted. The next day I walked out into the garden…this funny-shaped, green space that I’d only seen twice and had fallen in love with. Out there, wrapped up in all those jumpers and coats, with a steaming mug of tea, I stood with a feeling of utter bewilderment and also a guilty naughtiness..as if I wasn’t supposed to be here – as if I had stolen it from someone more deserving. (BTW, I still get snatches of that guilty feeling…so odd).
I’ve made the beginnings of a garden…(yes, that’s what I call it)…a garden. I’ve made it relatively quickly, with wonderful help from family and friends, planting everything in snatched hours while the Babety is sleeping. I’ve managed to do it because I’ve changed as a person since becoming a parent. Lack of ruminating and cogitating time has meant that now I make decisions really fast…I don’t agonise any more. If I had more time to think about this garden, it would still, I promise you, be in the planning stage. Instead, lack of time has made me reckless, and recklessness seems to have worked so far. Things just literally get bunged in and I cross my fingers and hope for the best.
There’s so much more to be done, of course..and a book to be written – but I’m celebrating my May milestone in the spirit of observing some very precious advice someone once gave me, which is that the future is really none of my business, the past has happened and no longer exists, and all that matters is right here, right now, so enjoy it.