A few weeks ago, the back garden consisted of a lawn (stretching the imagination somewhat!) and 1 solitary shrub at the bottom. Keith being adamantly NOT a gardener - green concrete is his idea of a perfect garden - it fell to me to make some attempt to provide a reasonable outlook for us when sitting on the patio on summer evenings sharing a cigar and a glass of wine. Not that I am an expert or a possessor of green fingers. I would love to have the gift that some people have of being able to stick a plant in the soil, tell it to grow and being instantly obeyed, but that one passed me by. Still, I do my best, in fits and starts. I dug the flower bed and border - it is only a small garden - bought huge sacks of compost, some shrubs and some bedding plants. I went for anything that claimed to be happy to grow in any conditions, planted them and waited.
Since then, I have learned two things:
1. Many of the plants that bore the claim that they could be planted anywhere, quite frankly, lied!
2. This garden is not going to be one of those 'chuck in the plants, leave them to it and when you next look, you'll see a riot of bloom and colour' types. This garden SULKS!
It sulks if you don't look at it, walk round it and congratulate it on the efforts it's making every day.
It sulks if you don't water it whether it has rained or not.
You can tell when it has been feeling nelected. Plants which days ago seemed green and ready to grow for England (Sorry - Wales) have suddenly transformed into wizened sticks.
Those that are still 'flourishing' (I use the word advisedly), on closer insepction, are now sporting reddish brown patches on their leaves. Those which have escaped both aforementioned fates now have leaves with frilled edges and holes in the middle - in others words, they have been a la carte for the snails, of which, incidently, there is never so much as the faintest glimpse, no matter how hard you look! Very sneaky, these Welsh snails!
So what is the solution? Could it be that Keith was right after all? Shall I be spending my summer holidays with a can of green paint and a paintbrush? Watch this space.......
P.S. Keith has just reminded me that he made history on Wednesday by mowing the lawn in my absence - first time for 20 years!!! (How can any self respecting male get out of mowing the lawn for 20 years???)