Saturday, 26 May 2018



Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

I haven't been getting on too well with this slim volume probably because I'm at odds with Penelope Lively (and Kipling) when it comes to gardening.

'Gardening is not outdoor housework,' she says. Oh yes, it is and if pushed I'd sooner mop floors. And if better men than I actually enjoy grubbing dandelions ... well, I wish they'd come round here and tackle mine. Of course, Kipling was talking about hired hands; if only!

6 comments:

Pam said...

Oh Mary, and I thought we were twin(ish) souls. The great advantage of gardening is that a tidy garden stays tidy for coming up for a week, whereas a tidy house - not so. Also: fresh air, flowers, balm for the soul.

Mary said...

Pam, I'd want it to stay tidy for the next five years. I have never arrived at the stage where mine is balm for soul, just a source of annoyance. Next time I move - a balcony or a window-box!

Toffeeapple said...

But the point of a garden is that it cannot be tamed - isn't it? Or am I at fault here?

Mary said...

Hmmm ... last time I got someone in to tackle it, the man said, "I thought you were exaggerating - now I see that you weren't." Untamed is my idea of something to aspire to; it's more like virgin jungle. Previous owner had a fondness for the rampant/ indestructible/highly unsuitable. It would be a 'project' for someone who loves gardening - but that's not me!

Jacqui Fenner-Dixon said...

Your post has brought back a clear childhood memory of my mother handing me a dinner knife and telling me to remove dandelions from the garden path. I love gardening and still find that implement best for the nooks and crannies of weeding. Housework, now I find that a chore!

Mary said...

My knees are protesting at the thought,Jacqui.