Outlook Issue 22 Winter 2016
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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A garden to remember
A garden to remember I have always loved my garden, even if it was someone else's which I could only care for and perhaps improve, as it was in the early days of our marriage. The first house and garden we owned had been well developed by the previous owners ‒ from asparagus, to strawberries, and fruit trees. It was just right for a young family, and, as my husband (a naval officer) was away at sea, my children and I enjoyed working in it. My elder two children would go on their bicycles round the village, selling our surplus produce for pocket money. An appointment to Cape Town, South Africa, has memories of agapanthus and arum lilies which grew on the slopes of Table Mountain. Our second home, in Haslemere, was a project – fruit and vegetables, a croquet lawn, a rose-bed, and plenty of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and heather. Specific plants Another appointment, to Washington DC, meant leaving my precious garden. However, even in a ground-floor apartment I grew a rose on the patio, and a flower-bed of annual flowers, grown out of seeds, embedded into a plastic 'woolly' blanket covered in compost. My younger son took a strip back to school and sold pieces of it to his friends to help them win the gardening prize (a businessman at 10!) This explains why my garden has specific plants ‒ plants from South Africa, including arum lilies and agapanthus, and from Washington DC, cornus florida, ginkgo tree, and liriodendron or tulip tree. But this garden is special because I planned it from the beginning. It went from a slope of weeds and dead trees to a place with all my memorable plants. It varies from a wedding cake tree (cornus controversa ‘Variegata’), seldom seen in gardens, to hosts of daffodils and bluebells, lilies of the valley in spring, and a colourful herbaceous border. There is always something to pick – tumbling roses, raised veggie beds – as well as a pond which I can sit by with my cat, Lucy. Here we listen to the birds and think of my late husband, John, who helped me realise my dream garden, and I make sure there's always a cat in my garden ‒ currently one created out of yew seedlings from the Chapel over the road ‒ a noble topiary cat. Angela Underhill