The current COVID lockdown has meant a lot of time walking the dog to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. It’s at the point where the dog cringes when she sees the leash instead of the usual bounds to the door. The endless laps of my suburb have led us in broader and broader circuits where I’ve stumbled across horrors like an astro turf and pebble abomination spelling the owner’s street name and number where the garden should be (lest they forget their own address?) and a concrete umbrella which dribbles water onto an algae filled pond.
Thankfully, I’ve also discovered some dream gardens. There’s a cosy courtyard packed with pots and lanterns, a terrace surrounded by clouds of white roses but most of all, there are the autumn maples.
Blazing out in lurid red, orange and yellow hues, I can’t take my eyes off them. With leaves ranging from feathery delicate to chunky and bold, I’ve fallen in love with the lot of them. My phone’s picture library is crammed with them, my conversations ramble around (in my defence, there’s not a lot else to talk about at the moment) them and my dreams are full of their bursting leaves.
And now, so is my backyard! Because the only cure for garden envy, it seems, is to give in the plant-lust and bring home your very own tree/flower/bulb/whatever catches your eye. So, to the politicians who determined that garden centres are indeed an essential service, thank you! Mabel the maple has fitted in perfectly with her russet coat stealing the autumn garden show.