A Garden Refuge

Depending on how you look at it, I am either the voice of reason or the terrible hand brake to my husband’s often elaborate projects that can be as unstoppable as popcorn that has started popping. The latest of his plans was to build us a little garden at the back of the apartment we are renting.

At the front of the property a beautiful lawn calls out invitingly, but there is no privacy, and as a result I would have begged until I was blue in the face, but he would still have refused to “sit out in the open”.

As pictures were drawn, measurements taken, and fantasies fluffed out, I grew nervous and edgy. Where my husband could, in the tiniest of details, perfectly picture this beautiful garden, I thoroughly failed at even getting a glimpse of what the end result would look like. Luckily for me Michael is slowly starting to learn how to live with my handicaps and paranoia. I console myself with the thought that it serves to deter him from any rash decisions.

Throughout summer seeds were planted and nurtured indoors, and eventually planted out to face the stinging rays of the sun. It was important to get some shade netting over these plants to save them from certain death. We could no longer wait to ‘build’ our garden!

As the sounds of sawing and drilling drifted towards me on a Saturday morning, invading my peace, I had to concentrate on focusing all my attention on the book I was reading: I was desperately trying to escape my angst. My resolve was to stay away from the construction and to wear my ‘supportive smile’ for the day. Fate was smiling upon me, as there was no need for my two clumsy hands. A pair of more able hands was found on the lithe body of the Bangladeshi gardener looking after the garden on the property that was clearly intrigued and lured to the back by the building noises.

A better helper Michael could not have asked for, and after two days work, spanning two weekends, I breathed a sigh of relief: it was nothing like I feared it would be. It is a space where we can relax with our feet on a little patch of grass, while our eyes feast on all the vegetables that we hope will give us plenty of fruit.

Gardening here is a little bit like playing in a sandpit, and we mixed a lot of manure and enriched soil into sand that hides layers of clay. Despite our urge to grow our own vegetables, neither one of us know if our attempts will end in success or failure, but the fun, I guess will lie in the experimentation. We certainly do not have much to lose, but a whole lot to gain, and as a result our hearts are filled with hope.