A Garden is a Lovesome Thing
An English cottage garden with a Spanish twist.
Hither are some photographs of my parents’ back garden in England. After I visited them in Spain on my contempo trip to Europe, I went on to England and stayed at the family home in Cheshire. They had asked me to tidy up the garden. What a relief it was for me that there was about nothing to do. Fifty-fifty though only a few years old, the perennials grow and dominate the space, shutting out weeds. The only weeding that was needed was on the paved area; and the pots which were to exist planted with annuals. The start photo is taken after that extra work was done, the rest were taken of the garden that had not been tended for 2 months. I have written before about how their garden in Spain uses local plants but in an English pattern. Hither we have the reverse influence. A garden in England with English planting, just the design influenced by Castilian design. They accept oft remarked on how the Spanish create lovely courtyards with pot plants. Usually these have high walls and create shady areas that a cool places to retreat to in the sunday. My parents decided to remove the old central lawn and make it a planted bed so that the main space, where the seats and the pots are, is now paved and surrounded past plants on all sides, creating a courtyard result. This is the ‘Spanish twist’ I referred to. To see pictures of their English garden in Spain, and the how this garden in England looked before they removed the lawn, go hither.
When they sent me these photos, my mum, who had just read a previous mail service nigh the garden poem of Ben Jonson, referred me also to a 19th century English language poem virtually gardens. So here it is –My Garden, past Thomas Edward Chocolate-brown (1830-97). For those who like me didn’t know, ‘wot’ is an archaic term meaning ‘knows’ and ‘grot’ is a poetic course of ‘grotto’. This post is the second garden-and-poetry column I’ve washed in a short space of fourth dimension. I ask readers please don’t tell anyone I’ve been doing this – it will destroy the paradigm I like to portray of myself as a verse antisocial curmudgeon. So, on to the poem…
A Garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Fern’ed grot –
The veriest schoolhouse
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not –
Not God! In gardens! When the eve is cool?
Nay, only I accept a sign;
‘Tis very sure that God walks in mine.
PS Equally an afterword, and going from the sublime to the ‘cor blimey’, here is a folk song about English gardens that always makes me sentimental most habitation when I hear it. It’s by Crowded House, who are not from England but New Zealand; and the only version I could go online has subtitles in Spanish, just given the Spanish – English garden theme in this article I suppose it’s not altogether inappropriate.
A Garden is a Lovesome Thing