Even our irascible selves.
Even a vase of flowers.
It looks even prettier at the end of it's life than it did at the beginning.
The only thing that doesn't seem to mellow is my garden.
It is like a perpetually unruly toddler, filled with boundless energy and only waiting for my back to be turned to do exactly what it likes.
I am exhausted by my garden.
I love it, as presumably one loves one's toddler - however naughty. But it wipes me out.
After a month of ceaseless work, one tiny patch feels vaguely tamed - although once the rain returns even that will soon prove to have been an illusion.
Having - by some thoughtless oversight on the part of my parents - only one pair of hands, the other 95% of the garden is, so far, untouched. But even now it is summoning up all its newly awakened zest for life, and is gathering strength to burst forth with whatever it feels like growing.
I wonder what it will produce as 'This Year's Weed - DaDah!'Not verbena bonariensis or papaver orientalis, I don't suppose, and needless to say, yet again, I will not be consulted in any of its decisions.
It is at times like these that one needs comfort.
Like many people, I keep a pile of books beside my bed.
It tends to grow rather than diminish, as I am very bad at moving on the ones I have read - there is always some quote I'm intending to copu out, or else I simply forget to put them back on the shelf.
The In-Charge once asked, very politely (all things considered), if I could deal with the pile, as he hadn't been able to hoover on my side of the bed. As I redistributed them, I counted.
73 books. I was shocked, but also pleasantly surprised to know that 73 books could be accommodated in such a relatively small space.
It gave me hope for when we come to 'downsize'.
The pile of books is a great comfort.
There is always some treasure to soothe my troubled mind or drown my woes in balm.
And of course, I never put all the books back on the shelf. One or two have to stay within handy reach, and this is the one I am reaching for now.
|As you can see, it is well-thumbed|
It never fails to lift my spirits when the garden reminds me who's boss, or gets uppity.
Which is surprising really, as it is full of magnificent pictures of magnificent gardens where not a weed dare show its face.
Come here to me, as they say in Ireland, and I'll give you a few tasters - several from France and one from America:
|Words (for once) fail me|
|I gave up longing for this when I learned how many hours of sunshine a day irises need to thrive|
|I want this house just as much as I'd like the garden, so let me know when you're moving out Michel|
|Perfection. And if anyone has an urn like this that they don't want anymore, please get in touch.|
But it doesn't really matter that these gardens are perfect in every detail.
That they each have - no doubt - teams of devoted tenders who pick up every stray leaf and tenderly clip the box hedges before breakfast, lift the tulips after elevenses and sow more peas in the afternoon. That because there are no weeds, it only takes a stroll around at dusk, glass in hand, to check for unwelcome arrivals in any of the flowerbeds.
I suppose it is more about aspiration and inspiration.
About the triumph of imagination over reality.
It is about rekindling the essence of your passion.
And I guess it's cheaper to drown your woes in balm than in champagne.
So if there are any garden-lovers out there, hie thee hence to your local bookshop and order a copy.
Give yourself a well-earned break.
Fashion Designers' Gardens
by Francis Dorleans, photographs by Claire de Virieu
ISBN: 9 780304 354375
My copy published by Cassell & Co