I’m getting all poetic this week as we have dumped the waste land of January and February and are now into the expectation of March, and with it some spring-like weather and more to do in the garden.
But the other weekend was free from school duties so we decided to visit Josh and Esther in their new flat in Walsall, unaware that elder bro Hugh had offered to come to lunch with TOM and undertake large tasks in the garden. This offer of doing working in the garden is evocative of our youth when the ‘rents would always have “a job for (insert child’s name here)”. I am not sure if Hugh had any jobs in mind for himself, but TOM was ever ready to allocate him one – after due consultation with me – and we gave him the wisteria to prune.
On the previous day Mrs B and I had spent a long day in the garden clearing the Silver Wedding bed. Claire had thought she would clear the old dead wood from the perennials and I, with a number of gardening job options available to me, ranging from planting seeds to felling trees, decided it would be advisable to work alongside Mrs B, digging weeds and clearing the areas that we want to plant. The memories are still too raw of me potting up in the greenhouse, watching Claire throwing stakes in frustration in the veg patch. I’m pleased to say that working side by side prevented such histrionics and a good day’s work produced large piles of weeds and detritus which we left to collect on the Sunday.
But we were preempted by Hugh who upon arriving for his job allocation was aghast at the state of the place. So his first job – before he could even get on with the job in hand – was to clear several barrow loads of garden rubbish. I couldn’t have planned it better if I had tried: preying on Hugh’s need for tidiness and order (not to mention a wheelbarrow that needed to be emptied of all the remains of my weeding) was a stroke of genius. So while Hugh did an excellent job cutting the wisteria back to a trimness not seen since the turn of the century, I reckon the largest part of his day’s work would have been cleaning up after the residents.
In the meantime on that sunny Saturday, Claire and I discovered that the urban cityscape of Walsall is not how we imagined as we walked through the crocus-carpeted Arboretum, then on through larger park land with ponds and trees galore – and no sign of Macniece’s “Chromium dogs”, “triplex windscreens” and “proud glass”. It made me come over all poetic. Again.