The roadside garden has been buffeted for three weeks, now, by gale force winds. ‘Enervating’ doesn’t even describe how exhausting it is to garden in these ghastly conditions. Yesterday, I actually found myself sheltering the shelters covering the silver beet seedlings! But things are growing, all the same: cavelo nero, cone-head cabbages, spinach, coriander and parsley. And broad beans are popping up through the ground. The gooseberry bush is in flower and the rhubarb is covered in fresh green leaves and pretty bright stalks.
Sometime, the passersby who stop to gather food from the garden leave little gifts. Often, it’s a thank you note which I find, sometimes many days later, blown into a bush and covered in delicate dew drops. Once, I found a bottle of beer ‘planted’ in the garden (perfect for hot-day weeding!). Another time, someone popped three packets of seed into my mail box. This week, a treasure appeared when a local farmer deposited a bale of haylage beside the garden. It makes wonderful mulch and is also a great medium in which to grow potatoes. How lucky I am to have such thoughtful neighbours.
On an amusing note, I see that wild honesty has colonised the roadside garden – very appropriate given that the garden is self-regulating and relies on the honesty of those who gather from it to take no more than they require. Clever flower!