Monday, 8 October 2007

California Dreamin

I first saw the Californian Poppies growing wild on the banks of roads while we drove along the Gold Route in California a few years' ago. I bought a packet of seeds from a small shop in the Nappa Valley and since then have enjoyed them in my garden each summer. Petals like smooth velvet turning their faces to the sun, then closing up on dull days and in the evening.

I've been up to my neck in pond weed, nettles and thorns trying to clear out the little stream that runs along the road edge and my garden. Although I don't own it, I am apparently required to keep it clear. Frogs, snails, insects of all types and smelly mud have tried to frighten me off, but did I falter? No. The last bag of ripped-out weed has been taken to the amenity site where a rugged man heaved them into the garden waste bin.

Just the remaining hanging baskets and summer pots to empty and put away for winter, and nearly forgot, the mammoth task of cutting back my neighbour's encroaching hedge that has now become a bramble hedge instead of Beech. A task I shall need help with unless I keep at it for the rest of the winter months. Some of my neighbours don't DO gardening; they hire a man for the day.

If he were still here, he would say, "get someone in and I'll pay." Ahh, those were the days. Where's a good man when you need one? That's what I say.

Instead, a good woman has to get on with the job.

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