Nothing significant has changed at this moment, though I do have the odd story to tell you which might beggar belief. I’ll come to that another time. The changes right now are more at a cellular level, so to speak. I realise that in many ways I haven’t been ready for a move, because now I am. The processes we might go through to arrive at such a place are often a combination of the practical and the symbolic. At least, I often find it to be so.
I’m quite happy with a scruffy, natural garden. While I’ve done the necessary, like mow the lawn and stop it from disappearing under a sea of green, and at points I have worked extremely hard to create new spaces, or to define the existing ones, there’s been quite a lot I haven’t noticed. In this case, the disappearance of all the dry stone walls, which are over 200 years old, behind various types of plant. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that this meant the garden looked smaller, as the eye had nothing to be drawn to to define its perimeters, It kind of disappeared into the background. That might have suited me, but I don’t think it will sell the place. In fact someone who came to view not so long ago asked if there were walls behind the green.
So I decided to do the work necessary to rectify that. It’s surprisingly hard work, because the plants worm their roots into the walls, then behind those you get a good helping of moss, and some plants are incredibly tenacious. It’s taken me all week, as there are the main walls to the garden, the studio garden (which is in the featured picture), and the raised beds. But it’s been oddly therapeutic.
Aside from being almost meditative in itself, and satisfying as you achieve your goal, there’s also a sense of cleansing of oneself as well as the wall. Of engaging with the life that has sprouted there, and the differences from place to place. For example, the plants in the studio garden were like forest plants, while the cottage garden more like moorland. In itself it has been an act of preparation, not just of the place to show people how lovely it is, but of myself for the impending change, whenever that comes about. I also found myself thinking about the people who built the walls.
Back then, you worked with what was available, you didn’t have to conform to building regulations, and you weren’t bothered about whether everything matched. Practicality was most important, yet curiously, with that, charm and character were written in. The original cottage is the same. Everything all slightly random, with not a straight line anywhere. Like life. Like nature.