Next Friday we move out of this home. My partner has lived here for 32 years and I joined her fourteen years ago when the new millennium was a few months old. Needless to say we have a lot of packing and sorting to do which meant that today was my last chance to get out in the garden – harvest a few things – and to say a sad farewell.
I have removed the perennial vegetables from the back garden now and what remains are herbs, wild strawberries, wild flowers with an edge of shrubs.
This may not look like much of a plant but it is a red Russian kale that I have had for many years. It lost its redness a long time ago, but has been a really, really hardy and useful plant. It will live on via the many cuttings I took a few weeks ago which are already sprouting.
The perennial vegetables are also gone from the front garden polyculture but the edges of fruit and shrubs remain and will always be abundant and attractive. I have only used part of the garden for my experiments. Most of the front looks quite normal –
although the lawn is mainly moss.
I said goodbye to my favourite trees, plants and places:
There’s a pond under here, home to frogs and toads;
and this gnarly old trunk belongs to a very old greengage tree. It is hollow on the other side and hardly able to produce any greenery or fruit. The garden was once part of an orchard belonging to a manor house and this plus other fruit trees in the neighbourhood is a survivor from those long lost times. In contrast the holly bears its vivacious berries most years.
It was the tendency of the garden to be somewhat wild around the edges, (as well as damp and shady) that first set me thinking about growing different things here. I used to try to tidy up much more but since learning about forest gardening and permaculture I have totally relaxed about that and really love the way plants intermingle and entwine themselves.
I have always loved our quiet lane,
with the stream gently trickling alongside.
Despite living close to the motorway, retail park, the college, football ground and station the house is tucked into its’ own little corner of peace and tranquility.
And this is how I will remember the garden – on an afternoon in late spring – exuberant, abundant and vibrant with life; the perfect place to sit and unwind after work!