Monday, June 4, 2018

Beth's Write in the Garden

An amazing thing has happened in the garden. More than twenty years ago,  I made friends with a British neighbour, Dorothy, who marched into my wreck of a yard and began to teach me what to do. It's Dorothy who started me off with practical advice and encouragement. At one point, she gave me a cutting from a wisteria, which grew like crazy, taking over fences and walls, but frustratingly, never bloomed. Dorothy became ill and had to sell her home and its lovely garden; eventually she moved back to England and died in her twin sister's house, in a bedroom overlooking the garden. Her sister sent me a picture of her gravestone, covered with roses.

After ten years, I cut down the bloody huge trunk of Dorothy's wisteria and hacked at it again only last year, though it's so invasive, there were still bits left.

Today I walked into the garden, and there are purple wisteria blossoms on the fence. They're small, but they're there; it only took them 22 years to grow.
I can see Dorothy smiling down on the garden she helped create. She'd be so proud to see it now.

And to celebrate Dorothy and her lessons to me, I open my garden to ten or so writers every year, to spend the day there digging up stories, planting the seeds of future writing, talking, eating, drinking. It's a wonderful day.

PS Breaking news: Renata Ford, the hopeless Rob Ford's widow, is suing her brother-in-law Doug for various malfeasance issues. Is this what we've been praying for?

And this, from Twitter: people are all wondering why melania trump hasnt been in the news lately, and i have a theory. its because she never does anything. im also not in the news for similar reasons.


  1. J's mum, a wonderful gardener (though a difficult woman), had a pruning method for wisteria which sort of carries on all spring and summer. You take each lateral stem, growing from the main trunk, and cut it back to four nodes. It seems harsh and maybe even punitive (my instinct is to let plants grow!), but then the vine puts its energy into flowering. After the flowering, you keep pruning. You get a vigorous plant and the second flush of blooms -- July here -- is also very lovely.

  2. Thanks, Theresa - yes, I'd heard you have to be savage with wisteria but I am utterly incapable. Until now - maybe I'll try. The problem is I have to plough through the hydrangea to get to them. Stay tuned. But talk about a late bloomer - it took 22 years!