Over the last couple of weeks, I have been using my blog posts to tell you a little bit about my garden and the trees and flowers it contains. This week, I want to talk about all those things which make a garden precious but which have nothing to do with plants.
I have mentioned before that I love statues.
I brought with me from my old house a cast stone model of a mole, and she now sleeps happily in the border of my new garden. She was named Doreen by my nieces when they were small. Why? I don’t know. You’d have to ask them!
I also must introduce you to Kevin.
Many years ago, whilst visiting – yes, you’ve guessed it – a garden centre, my parents and I came across the statue of a medieval monk reading a book. I very much wanted to snap it up there and then but my folks were not keen. Since I have had a garden of my own, though, I have been searching for a stone monk to go in it. Whilst Buddhas and statues of oriental religious men abound, medieval monks are hard to find.
One birthday, my sister handed me a heavy square box. Out of this I drew the statue of a monk. He was holding a bird. “Oh, it’s Kevin!” I cried, much to my sister’s bemusement.
Saint Kevin was an Irish saint who is said to have held a bird’s egg in his hand until it hatched. Why? Who knows? It’s an even greater mystery than the origin of the name “Doreen” for my stone mole!
I was thrilled, though, and Kevin has lived happily in various places in my borders ever since. He had to be rescued from his last location as he had become completely overgrown with foliage but he now resides in a clear spot next to my acer, where I talk to him while I water the garden. I also make a point of clearing the snow from his tonsured stone head during the winter.
Another lovely present was a collapsible coffee table which I can set up outside my patio door, if I ever want to sit in the nicely sheltered spot just there. It provides the perfect place to put down my coffee cup or glass of wine, depending on the time of day.
One September morning, however, I walked out with my table and walked into a huge cobweb.
And I do mean huge!
I waved my arms and legs about in a kind of mad dance and jibbered crazily. It must have afforded the neighbours an entertaining sight, but I absolutely hate spiders. The only down side of gardening for me is that you put your hand in a lot of webs and if you can’t see, you don’t know if any spiders are still there…
But even my arachnophobia won’t stop me from loving my garden and spending time in it. Walking round it is a great way to clear my head, whatever the weather. It is cold and windy as I type this today, but I still went out into the garden first to think about what I was going to write.