Garden notes: Abandon

Rain-drenched days. Pockets of sunshine whenever I am elsewhere. The school year coming to a head with sports days and performances, with exams to be taken and costumes to be thrown together. Between the downpours and the sunshine, the garden is going wild. The hens are eyeing up the bolting lettuces. I myself see nothing but the weeds in the cracks between the paving slabs.

At times like this I try not to think about the garden. I have abandoned her, for the time being. I have left her to her own devices, and can only guess at the havoc she might wreak. I dash out to grab a basket of spinach or a fistful of herbs, and mutter at the tasks which must be done: the weeding, the staking, the planting out. It feels wild and out of control. Dangerous.

And then a splash of red catches my eye. There are poppies in the fruit patch. I wander down, to take a closer look, and spot a hoverfly perched upon a petal. On the surrounding canes, the first raspberries are coming into their sweet tartness. There are aquilegia self-sown in the gravel. The roses are in full and fragrant bloom.

This isn’t an abandonment. It is an act of faith, a stepping back, a letting go. Trusting that the garden will still be there when I have time for her again. Hoping she’ll forgive me. And, thanks to the poppies and the roses, the sweet peas and the beans pulling themselves strongly up their canes, knowing that she will.

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