Bisley Ave on a Sunday afternoon
This image is really for Woodpeckers, as I know there is a road of the same name in Stroud, where she lives. I took it on my phone this afternoon as I was walking down to visit Gran. In spite of having been promised some rain and severe, gale-force winds today, it was another beautiful day and I decided I could do with some exercise.
I set off to see Gran (my mother-in-law) and had a very pleasant walk, which took about 35 minutes. It's amazing how much more you notice when you are on foot instead of in the car. All the gardens along the way were filled with blossom and flowers and the birdsong was typically spring-like. Not far from Gran's house, I passed a mother duck shepherding her brood of seven little ducklings along the pavement and in Gran's garden there were more ducklings in the creek.
"They won't last long - the seagulls take them," she observed matter-of-factly. She was not in a very happy mood; despairing at the state of her garden. Last summer it was a riot of colour as she prepared for the family visiting over Christmas. But then came her accident in late January, which left her housebound in the middle of a drought and, in spite of our best efforts at keeping things watered, a lot of the newer plants died. Then there were some bad frosts a couple of months ago, and she's lost all the fruit trees she planted last year. It's in desperate need of weeding and a good tidy-up, not to mention a re-stock.
The place is not a patch on what it was when she moved in almost exactly two years ago and she really needs help with it. What it really needs is a gang of gardeners in there for about two or three days to get everything really ship-shape and a lot of new stuff planted - but alas, that's really too expensive at the moment. She'd like Jonathan to spend more time there but he is busy working and, as she lamented, 'painting his own house.' Part of the problem is that she has always been an avid gardener and loves her garden to look fabulous, but she will turn 80 next month and physically, she's just not up to it any more.
I wonder what we can do. I am a terrible gardener and, once again, made a mental 'Note to Self' to ensure that I don't have a garden to worry about by the time I get to her age. I remember when I first met Nicky, his parents were away building a boat and he had been left in charge of their garden - he loathed weeding and all that sort of thing and even now, although he likes pruning and planning/landscaping, he's not really into gardening (at university, he used to skip his Botany lectures!). And Jonathan likes gardening in theory, but was relieved to move to a house last year that requires very little in the way of garden maintenance!
It clouded over as I started my walk back, but the rain and wind have never eventuated. I'm sitting on my bed writing this at 7.20pm, watching the kiteboarders down on the beach - perhaps there is more wind than I thought!