Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers
Flowers are the reward for the hard and heavy work invested in gardening. Nurtured from seeds planted in the dark depths of soil they bloom and grow, maybe even forever. I think of the garden I left behind in London, wondering if the people who bought the house from us have made many changes. Then I remember the changes we made to the garden when we bought the house from the widowed Jock.
Jock loved roses and in the middle of the small patch of shaded lawn which faced north he had planted a bed of roses. The roses had thick, thorny stems upon which the roses bloomed into a riot of blistering reds, oranges and yellows. I left the garden alone, there was too much work to be done on the inside of the house which we had moved into with three small boys. We joked about the house having been well and truly Jocked!
Jock was a home handy-man fiend. Amongst many of the original features he worked so hard to erase he took out the old, ornate fireplaces and replaced them with state of the art gas heaters. Circa 1970’s, maybe even the 60’s. To keep the house even more snug and cosy, Jock installed heavy sliding glass doors between the open sitting and dining areas. Which the toddler of the time kept running into because one of the older boys thought it fun to play chase through the house, closing the door behind him. Life’s hard knocks were coming too early for that poor little fellow.
For reasons known only to Jock he took the gas cooker with him. This was a huge surprise to us when we moved in and discovered the empty slot in the oh, so tiny kitchen. We had planned to re-do the kitchen/bathroom/whole damned house eventually but we take a long time about these things and when there is only enough money in the kitty for basics . . . we went and bought an electric wok.
I am a coper but only for so long. Eventually, fed-up and frustrated and certainly no longer a happy camper in the house of let’s have fun and make do, I sought revenge. I attacked the roses which I began to hate with a passion. The boys kept running into them as they tried to play in the garden. The planting was ugly and I hated the brash colours. On good days it reminded me of a municipal bed in the middle of a busy round-about. On bad days it sat there looking like a grave site.
Removing the roses was such hard work I began to fear that perhaps it was a grave site, wondering to myself just what had happened to Mrs Jock? There was even talk in the neighbourhood about one of his two daughters, the difficult one, who no longer had anything to do with him . . . it took ages to pull those gnarly roots from the heavy clay soil but my determination was grim indeed, and several pounds of lost weight later, I had them all out. I covered the bare patch with a roll or two of lawn which took beautifully. The boys took to the new space in the garden with abandoned delight. And a football. It became a mud patch in no time.
But that was long ago and this is now and how we laugh about those fun family times! Times are now spent in a 5th floor walk-up apartment in New York City, no gardening to worry about at all. Yes, I do miss it but not enough to become bitter and twisted about it. However, there are more than enough flowers grown in this city by hands of complete mystery and I am grateful to every one of them for the pleasure they bring to the streets of this wonderful city.
Here are some for you to enjoy!