Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What Sort Of Gardener Are You?

Some of us are clean............

I can’t help it. Dirt seems to be attracted to me.

Jill and I grew up a few doors from each other and have been firm friends now for over 45 years. I spent a lot of my childhood scrambling around in her large back garden playing hide and seek behind over-sized bushes, biting into rock hard pears (we never could wait until they were ripe) and playing with the lumpy jelly of tadpoles in her mossy pond. I loved the way her garden was a place of endless discovery and adventure, but somehow I always ended up getting filthy and there was more than one occasion when I was told off for getting my little white socks and sandals dirty. (Sorry Mum- white was a BAD color for me!)

And then there is my dear friend Alyson, an amazing artist and gardener who always manages to look elegant, immaculately put together and carefree. I never could get over seeing her spreading compost in her garden still wearing stylish work clothes and heels, makeup perfectly intact and not a hair out of place. I was also spreading compost….but wearing a ratty pair of muddy jeans, worn out hiking boots and an ancient should-be-in-the-garbage T-shirt. Why do I always appear to be wearing the garden whereas Alyson looks as though she has merely dabbled casually?

..........and some of us aren't

Things have not improved things it seems. On a recent trip to the hairdresser my stylist casually removed a rusty screw from my hair. She was completely unfazed. “Karen if it had been anyone else but you I would have been surprised. Leaves, twigs, screws – it’s all good”. In my defense I had been scrambling about under bushes all morning but I’m still not sure where that screw came from.

So my conclusion is this. There are the clean and tidy gardeners such as Alyson and my Mum (whom I suspect have never had to wash a pair of garden gloves in their lives) and there are the rest of us. We live in the garden and it becomes a part of us, figuratively and literally. No-one ever has to ask what we have been doing because the muddy knees and fingernails tell the story. Our sweaty faces rarely see mascara let alone full make up. How do the Alysons of this world do it?! I guess I’ll never know but at least we can enjoy one another's creations and share a glass of wine at the end of a day in the garden (although I’ll need a shower first).

But I still don't know where that screw came from…………….

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