Saturday, 21 November 2015

Lessons from a garden

I love visual parables. That "ding dong" moment when you stand and nod, to no one in particular, and understand.

This evening I was hacking away at weeds at the end of our garden. I was getting carried away because I get angry at weeds. So does my husband, and we work ourselves into a complete tizzy trying to dig them out. I have to be careful not to overdo it as I can set my heart racing much faster than it is used to or is good for it. As I stood up from a five minute froth at the mouth frenzy, I caught this.

One of about 50 foxgloves on our land, winding itself around the branch of a tree. The tree has been struggling to cope. The tree next to it was diseased and we had to chop it down, the one further down we lost in a storm. The trauma of both events seem to have stunted it and it no longer thrives. But this gorgeous plant was leaning against it and winding itself gently next to the trunk and lower branch. Beauty and fragility taking company with something sick and a bit creeky. All of our trees on the border have foxglove around the base, but this is the only one with a companion flower that seems to be embracing it, gnarled as it is. I love that picture of acceptance and care.

The other lesson involves runner beans. I love to eat them, especially fresh from the garden. After planting a packet of beans two weeks ago, I was quite ashamed (though not surprised) to have to admit to the person who gave me the seeds that there was no sign of any shoots, just more weeds! I wasn't surprised or discouraged. I may be the daughter of green fingered magician, but the genes didn't get passed on and this has been the story of my life. I simply can't grow stuff.

Well this evening, there were FOUR shoots next to the poles!!! In 53 years, this is a first, and my nickname as a child, beanpole has suddenly become the most glorious word in the English language!

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