A new garden: a green portal
It is officially the first day of autumn, so time to report on progress in the front garden since its refurbishment in the Spring. It has certainly turned heads all summer. Any time Lord Muck is mucking about in it, someone walks by and comments. Mainly in a complementary fashion. At first it was about the planting and the brickwork – very fine I agree. But as the summer progressed the lettuces, now harvested or in a few cases gone to seed, were the object of much comment, and latterly it has been the extremely prolific tomatoes. What a year for tomatoes it has been. Not only have they thrived, but have produced so early too. I have already cut down the vines in my allotment poly tunnel, having harvested kilos and kilos of them. The ones in the front garden aren’t so far advanced, but the first pick has happened. One couple, long-term residents on the street, wondered if as they ripened they wouldn’t get stolen. As far as I can tell none have so far, perhaps the neighbourhood is ‘on the up’. Maybe that will change, but I can afford to be generous this year and in any case if the occasional one goes, that person’s need is probably greater than mine. To be honest while picking one off the vine guarantees freshness, I have taken to placing a wooden box by the gate filled with courgettes, apples and tomatoes for passers by to help themselves to anyway.
And how about the perennials? They all seem to be flourishing. It has been hot, so plenty of water has had to applied, especially to the Daphne, as designer Kate from Oxford Garden Partners never fails to remind me when she passes by, but the Rock Rose and Hydrangea in particular have been spectacular. One development that has probably helped: a swarm of bumble bees has taken up residence in the shed that leads of from the front garden. AirBnB takes on a whole new meaning.
It is often said that front gardens and front doors are a microcosm of the character of the house within; symbolic, a portal into another world – especially from a child’s point of view. The front door is a dark green; now the garden amplifies that sense of a green portal.