Gardener's Question Time had just started when I turned on the radio the other day. I've just moved to a house with a huge neglected garden and know nothing about gardening, I'm confused by all the advice I keep being given, an audience member told the panel, What the rules do I need to follow?
I better listen to this, I thought, resisting the urge to re-tune to pop-tastic Radio One. With a garden over a hundred metres long containing twenty six trees, fourteen of which have protection orders slapped on them, which means that we can't even prune them without seeking prior permission from the council and, even if that is granted, we have to use their approved (& extremely expensive) tree surgeons unless we want a hefty fine.
Our garden is almost constantly in the shade, anything we plant has to compete with the trees to get any nutrients from the already over-stretched soil and other than the ferns, wild garlic and feral blackberries, very few plants thrive on the lack of daylight. Neither of us like gardens with neat borders or rows of flowers beaten into submission or fancy being a slave to the hosepipe like our neighbours.
Our wilderness does have its advantages. Despite being just a five minute walk from the bustling town centre in our garden you could be a world away. During the day we're visited by birds, butterflies and bees, the neighbourhood cats bask beneath the trees and I can wander around in my pants if I want to as we're never over-looked. The shady pond is home to frogs and toads love the decaying stumps of trees long dead from natural causes.
At night owls hoot from the canopy of lime trees, bats skitter from under the eaves of the house, hedgehogs amble across the overgrown lawn and the urban foxes have made a home under the tumbledown shed Grandpa built in 1951.
So how did the experts on Gardener's Question Time advise the novice? They told her that there were no rules. She should do exactly what she liked, have fun experimenting and if something didn't work not to be put off & just try again and best of all, to disregard any advice, no matter how well intentioned, if it didn't suit her. This made me happy as its exactly the same approach to the way I get dressed in the morning.
A fashion expert would probably tell me to chop off my long locks (overloaded with static today as I re-blackened them earlier), to make up my eyes or my lips but not both, never to mix gold and silver jewellery and would, no doubt, have an absolute fit over the vintage St Michael nightie and suede boots I wore to Lidl this morning. The way I dress isn't everyone's cup of tea but it suits me & makes me happy and that's all that matters.
|Wearing: Vintage 1970s St Michael nightie (£1.99, local Hospice shop), Suede boots (Half price sale, Schuh), Bespoke vintage Murano glass & beaten brass pendant (Jolene Smith, Walsall jewellery maker)|
PS We're trading with Judy's in Liverpool this coming Saturday (HERE), come and say hello!
Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.