I went out into my poor neglected garden on Sunday. It's a forgiving place: sporadic and resentful watering over the summer, little weeding or fertilising, almost no company save for next-door's orange cat who creeps over the fence and mooches about, but still there were sights to see. There's a carpet of self-sown rocket, patches of Asian veggies (also self-sown), and the daffodils, ranunculas and even some freesias are up. There's a sense of loose and relaxed abundance - very Jackie French. It seems my aim has been fulfilled with very little effort on my part.
I planted some flowers, all rooted in my past: stocks, flanders poppies and Queen Anne's lace. The stocks remind me of the annual-heavy gardens I had as a little girl, stocked by a nursery-man whose kids went to the school my Dad established. The poppies are for rememberance, and make me think of uncles and grandfathers who fought overseas. The Queen Anne's lace is exciting - I'd not seen it available before expect in a 'good bug mix' that didn't germinate in the dry summer; I only know of it through one the favourite books of a teenage me, Vita Sackville-West's Family History. Oh, it's the most lush of melodramas: love gained, love lost, death from a broken heart (and possibly an open window). And it has a line: "She hesitated, thinking of the Queen Anne's Lace in the lanes and the dogroses in the hedgerows", which has stayed with me since I read the book when I was 16 (a very impressionable age for love and betrayal and hesitation).
So on Sunday I planted a little bit of my own country lane in a patch that is destined to hold the rather less romantic sounding 'insect attractants'. I may as well seek out a dogrose too. There's something rather lovely in the word.