I know my garden; I’ve worked in it for time out of mind and I’ve photographed it a lot, and I mean A LOT. But last weekend two friends came round for afternoon tea and a walk (which we gave up on, due to the weather), and one of them is a professional photographer.
I’ve worked in mist myself, and I love the effect it gives – but mist and persistent drizzle? When there’s a stove to be lit and crumpets to be toasted? Hmmm. The weather did not, however, deter my friend. When I saw his shots I was surprised at what he had photographed, and delighted. So here, with his permission, are three looks at my garden through someone else’s eyes.
First, the old pigsty. You could call it a potting shed but you can’t actually stand up in it. It’s a pigsty. Or was, literally. Now it’s a metaphorical pigsty – a general dumping ground.
I would never have drawn attention to the wheelbarrow. I prefer to forget it’s there, and that it needs replacing. I’ll get round to it soon.
Now for the garden’s tutelary deity:
Yes, that’s right, it’s a concrete budgie.
It was here when I arrived in 2002, propped up in the roots of the rowan where they scrabbled over one of the retaining walls. The rowan has since gone, brought down by last winter’s storms, but the budgie remains. His eyes are bright amber, his beak is chipped and I can’t think of the garden without his slightly cheeky presence. He’s only about seven inches long, so he doesnt take up much room. At present he lives in the gnarled remains of the rowan’s trunk, and will soon need a new home when we get round to dealing with that too. After the wheelbarrow.
(The wall just below here has some horseshoes built into it; in fact the whole house is ringed with iron. This is possibly due to the fact that the small hill diagonally opposite me was traditionally supposed to be one where the Tylwyth Teg – the Fair Folk – met. So there.)
This last shot I would never have taken – too much reflection, I’d have thought. But I like it and should evidently not be so narrow.
It’s an old stone sink which provides a bird bath (and disguises an inspection trap over a place where several pipes meet on their way to the soakaway). It’s not particularly picturesque, but the birds love it, and the stones enable anything which falls in to climb out. I sometimes find toads nearby, as well, but I’ve not had frogs. Yet.
(Probably just as well, given what Next Door’s Cat can do when she sets her mind to it.)
All photographs courtesy Malcolm J. Murgatroyd