A little sunshine made for a busy weekend. Bill was out spraying the oilseed rape for mealy aphids (which will take the goodness out of the plant) and sclerotinia (a fungus that splits the stem).
While Bill was working, I skipped off to look around a garden that was open under the National Garden Scheme. We knew the parking would be limited so decided to walk there, which proved a good idea as it was a lovely walk and seemed to put the garden into the landscape. In fact we later discovered we could have taken a different footpath to go into the garden through the back gate, which would have created a completely different entrance.
I’m not sure that I’m a good garden visitor. I’m not interested enough in plant labels to take note, walk too fast and chat too much, instead of sitting down and soaking in the ambience. I would love to be talented enough to perch on the wall, whip out a sketchbook and dash off a quick drawing but instead I have to take away half formed pictures in my head. It was a wonderfully relaxed garden with a hammock in the orchard, informal flower beds and a natural swimming pool with fringe planting and gently weathered decking that was a world away from the usual garish blue tiles and chemically cleaned water of regular swimming pools.
Tucked away in the garden were various little sheds and follies that made me realise how little we use the dovecote in our garden. Our dovecote used to stand in the corner of a farmyard ten miles away, presumably to keep pigeons for the big house next door to it, but was taken down and rebuilt in the garden here in the 1960s. I’m not sure how carefully it was rebuilt as there are no nesting boxes and apparently there were several bricks left over. But no matter.
Its windows are unglazed, with sliding slats to make it weatherproof and zinc mesh allows the air to circulate but keeps insects out. When we moved here the dovecote was filled with gardening paraphernalia that I cleared out, determined to make a delightful summer house of the building. I fondly imagined candlelit suppers and a secluded space to sit, but the reality was that the children commandeered the space. They used to climb the ladder up to the loft (which worried me enormously as they never shut the trap door and I had visions of a child falling through the hole) from where they could spy on everyone passing or squirt their water pistols onto anyone in the garden.
But now I should reclaim the space. It only needs an old chair with a pretty cushion and perhaps a table. Maybe some bunting to hang along the walls or is that just too passé this days? I feel a pinterest session may be needed.