Other peoples’ work: Lovesome thing

Over the winter, we hacked through curtains of Ivy and Mile-A-Minute all over the garden; hauling rubble sacks full out to the dump every couple of weeks; and were rescued when none of our kit was up to the job by friends who, invited for lunch, brought a chainsaw along. Although the creepers will, like the Terminator, definitely be back (Ivy, like cockroaches and brambles, is likely to survive any apocalypse and just needs a scrap of root or runner to spring into life), for now the garden is charging into Spring, getting the best out of the water and light without the competition.

What’s underneath is a garden that someone had clearly put a lot of thought into, and loved, for a long time. Between the old shrubs (some of them unruly and due a massive haircut), bulbs and perennials are appearing and flowering, starting with snowdrops and crocus, then tulips, now irises. It even has a colour scheme (mostly yellow and blue). It reminds me most of a garden my grandmother had, although luckily without the big lawns my grandad seemed to spend half his time mowing and edging. Even though there is a lot to be done, it is worth it to have such a beautiful place to sit among the flowers and wonder what’s coming next.

The ancient, crooked pear tree, which looked on its last legs just months ago, has been covered in blossom and now tiny fruits are forming. I hate pears, and there will be plagues of wasps, but it’s good to see the old thing has some life in it yet. And I have been invited to show work at a tiny exhibition that against all the odds is back on for July, so I had probably better get on and do some…