The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Over at ‘the future we grow today‘ a post got me really thinking.
And I hope E Ray won’t mind if I take the inspiration a little further.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
It was about what a garden says about the person who tends it or the people of ‘Allotmentville‘ as I sometimes think of it.
Here’s some of the characters you might meet there.
A mysterious gardener with an immaculate, weed free garden plot with strawberries planted in a perfect checkerboard pattern. In this sandy garden, The Vampire leaves no tracks and has never been seen by the neighbors. Garden mystery at it’s finest.
We have ‘The Builder‘ who apparently sees unwanted brickwork the way some of us see mis-shapen unfortunate abandoned orphan green things.
In fact it’s rare that he has anything growing on his plot. There are structures and paving patterns and all manner of construction but I guess the green stuff would ruin the affect.
Similar to The Vigilante’ over at E Ray’s community we have The Dominatrix.
Her tactic is to give you advice and plants you don’t need and judgement of your plot plans that is also uninvited.
If you’re unlucky the gift is an invasive species that will become rampant overnight. She means really well and I’ve gained an incredible honey suckle but it’s impossible to say No!
Then there’s ‘Tarzan‘ (‘The Builder‘ gave him this name recently!)
Tarzan is young and physical. He digs. Then he redigs. Then he digs again. Commonly barefoot and shirtless even in spring. At other times he wears Dutch clogs. His skin is like shoe polish from all the exposure. His plot is the best dug on the whole site!
Another neighbour has the most exotic permanently, green haven. I envy her. Her plot is like a permaculture design. Tulips nestle next to cabbages while onions mingle with the raspberries. There is no structure or pattern. Her garden is a patchwork quilt with veg and flowers all together. She’s ‘The Hoarder.’ No plant is unwelcome!
One key character is ‘The Empire Builder‘. His shed now has two extensions and a porch. Like ‘The Builder‘ his garden resounds with hammering and clanking all day long. Unlike the builder he has plants, all in cold frames, all perfect. He has fantastic hospitality skills and caters for all comers. He’s also international.
The Hippy Activist has a garden of Eden. The key feature is a bench with a lovely view. This gardener can generally be found on the bench chatting to a friend about campaigns and politics. That’s when he’s not sharing interesting environmental pamphlets with other plot holders. He has a beard. Of course.
The Grandmother is intent on making her plot as child friendly as possible. The gardens here have a ditch full of water on at least one side. Hers has two and a significant fence to prevent accidental swimming. Then there’s a swing, an apple tree, a cosy house with gingham curtains, benches, picnics and the smell of home baked buns.
Across the way behind perfectly clipped topiary complete with birds and animals is The Duchess. If her plot had a gate it would be complex filigree but instead those hedges make an impressive entrance. There’s no veg here, but a neatly manicured lawn dominates.
The gardener I’ve yet to figure out is a curiosity. Both sides of the garden are completely covered with weed proof barrier cloth. Carefully placed at polite distances are a number of large containers and pots. Each holds a bushy plant covered in flowers. Weeds are banished. Maybe this gardener has a phobia about those weeds or perhaps they prefer the plants at a more accessible height. I prefer to think it’s the design of a baker. The pots are like nature’s cup cakes on a tray.
And what does our garden say about us?
Well it has lots of odd, recycled objects, plenty of permanent plants and quite a few welcome weeds. There’s a bee hive and a water pump and fruit trees and bushes galore. Does it say vegetarian environmentalist to you?
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...