For over eight weeks, every day, I drove up the drive from the cottage, past the house, averting my eyes from the sight of Nature rampaging through the garden and made my way into town to clean floors, paint walls and repair lino.
And now, with time to garden again, I've no idea where to begin.
The rose beds, the bushes already in full bud? Strangled with buttercup and bindweed tendrils, great juicy thistle, dandelion and dock stems barging their way skywards, cutting out the light and killing the lower branches.
Perhaps the paving round the swimming pool? A jungle of dead nettle, self-seeded alliums, more dock, dandelion and thistle (of course) and speedwell.
Or the loving planted borders either side of the one-day-to-be front door? Now overrun with rye grasses and wild oats and yet more dock and thistles.
Or the lawns, round the house and the cottage? The grass now so high and stems so coarse that mower and strimmer struggle to do more than just knock the plants down.
I despair at what a mere eight weeks' neglect can do to all my previous hours of care. How do those of you who spend no more than a few weeks here each year cope?
I sit on the bank behind the cottage laboriously extracting fronds of sap-filled grass from the middle of a large cotoneaster that is desperately trying to flower. Vita and Bertie sit close by, watching me mournfully as I cut back what are obviously their absolutely favourite blades to chew. Don't be ridiculous dogs! There are acres of greenery all round us, just waiting to be eaten.
2 years ago