I think he'd be proud of the work I've done in the garden. Well, I'm proud of the work I've done in this garden. No false modesty here.
"The summer's nearly here, things are always easier in the warmer days and bright evenings," he told me. He never saw that summer.
Mummy is the gardener in our house. While she grew vegetables and beautiful flower beds, Daddy built a cacophony of sheds on the property surrounding our new house, from building materials he had salvaged from the old house before they demolished it. Each shed had a name that bore testimony to the family's sense of humor.
There was the "Tenko" house - built from green corrugated tin (and not to be confused with the greenhouse), one really hot summer that saw us all wearing bikinis and sunburn (except Daddy - he was in shorts and sunburn!) so that we looked like the cast from the TV drama about British women taken prisoner by the Japanese during the second world war.
There was the "IC3620" hut - just a shed with the number plate of Daddy's first ever car nailed to the door.
We had the best tree house ever - built so high up an old elm tree that Mummy was afraid to go up the wobbly ladder to it. Kids these days would never be allowed in such a precarious structure - but we loved it.
But my favorite was the "Pavillion." he actually bought new materials for this one. It was a wooden structure with a glass front and a porch.
There was the barn (it was there already - he didn't build it) and the storeroom and the boy's kitchen(don't ask!) and a couple of plain old sheds - from aerial pictures we must have looked like a small city!
When I bought my first house in Belfast, Daddy came and fashioned a lean-to shed onto the back door. After several leaky years, we had to take it down again!
However, I did learn some valuable gardening tips from him. It wasn't that he actually said the words, "Never leave your rake lying with the prongs sticking up." Instead, he told the story (he was an excellent story teller) about a guy who worked for him who stood on the prongs of the rake. Not only did the rake go through the poor guy's foot, but the shaft shot up and hit him in the face, busting his nose. When the hapless fellow saw the blood, he fainted, landing in the wheel barrow that was sitting behind him. His co-workers simply wheeled him to the office in the barrow, to tell Daddy what had happened. I'm very careful how about how and where I set my rake.
All very good advice when you consider all the raking of red lava rock I've been doing lately. Finally, it is all gone thanks to a few Master Gardeners taking it for potting up their succulents.
Thanks for Today gardener's sustainable living project 2011. Always lots of great ideas there.
The native shade garden at the other side of the house is coming into its own.
|Coral Island Bells (Heuchera Maxima)|
|California wood straberry (Fragaria californica)|
|California Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)|
One last thing - I noticed whilst raking the red lava rock that there was a lot of junk amid the stone. It certainly reinforces what I always say - gardening ruins your nails!