My garden, as you might know, is something of a joy to me.
My sunflowers are going a storm
I have tomatoes to die for – or I will when they ripen
and the apple tree is drooping almost to breaking point.
And the flowers! Oh the flowers –
and roses pink
and all sorts fushia
mixed beds and single spines.
There is such a lot to admire. But within such delights there lurk traps, little places of innocent splendour that I want to share with my family that cause, well, ructions. Yes, ructions..
The Vet, back home from her graduation, is beginning to appreciate the subtle symphonies that make up a proper English garden: the herbaceous borders, the shrubs and random planting. I was a similar age when gardening turned from a parental imposed chore to something I could see myself doing, creating my own little piece of England.
It was in this vein that I glanced out of the window at breakfast, catching sight of one of my favourite of summer plants, one that returns from seeds spread year after year.
I turned to my daughter, who was concentrating on a bowl of muesli and said
If you’ve a moment later I really think you should come and see my morning glory*
To say there was a stunned silence would ignore the shrapnel effect of half-masticated muesli being ejected from her mouth at approximately 150 psi.
The look – wide eyed but far from innocent, gaping mouth and shaking head – suggested I had perhaps said something unexpected.
I do not consider myself to be innocent, naive or jejune. I’m a man of the world. I know stuff. I’ve read widely, absorbed all sorts of cultural allusions, including urban slang.
Sadly, however, one such that had passed me by, was the fact that my ornamental bindweed had the same name as an early-bird priapic wonderment.
I made the link quickly; I can spot a double entendre a mile off but it was too late. She was already whatsapping her brother to tell him about my latest unexpected moment of despair. Much family laughter ensued.
The consensus was
Not again, Dad.
See, I have form. When the Lawyer was living with us, a year ago, the Beautician, his delightful girlfriend, was here too. Her work, as a model at the time, didn’t require fixed hours and often she would join me in the morning, walking Dog.
Imagine everyone’s surprise therefore when, once again at breakfast I asked her if she was free and whether
you’d like to go dogging** with me
Is it any wonder I now write a blog, rather than talk to people. There’s this notion f the tall poppy syndrome – people who are bigged up, or big themselves up and are then cut down to size. Like me and my sunflowers.
Both of us are ripe for a culling….
*if you are not sure what a ‘morning glory’ is, click here
**and for an explanation of dogging I can do no better than let you watch this