I’ve been thinking of flowers and fence panels this week.
When you’re waiting for your accountant to sign off your latest accounts, its useful to have something else with which to occupy your mind. He’s had the paperwork for a few days now so I’m hopeful he will be returning his findings very soon. It’s a bit like going to the doctor for a blood test; you go in, let them draw the blood, sometimes feel a little light-headed afterwards and then wait. They usually say they will phone you with the results but after a couple of days of hearing nothing, you wonder about phoning them don’t you?
I won’t be phoning our accountant though because I know from past experience he is pretty quick, so I expect to see something soon after the Bank Holiday Monday. I remain focussed on the end of May being decision time.
Anyway, going back to my flower and fence panels. One of the many drawbacks of renting a house is the garden; if it’s in pristine condition with borders that need weeding and rose bushes that need pruning, then you will almost certainly find a clause that states you must keep the garden neat and tidy and carry out all necessary pruning etc. From the landlord’s point of view this clause is quite right and proper, after all if they have invested time and money creating a beautiful garden, they will naturally expect their tenant to take care of it and maintain it accordingly.
But from the tenant’s point of view, they are unlikely to want to invest much of their time or money in someone else’s garden, after all, why should they if they are unlikely to benefit from it.
I think it’s fair to say most tenants are likely to only do what they are obliged to keep within the terms of their tenancy and most landlords know that is the case, so they are unlikely to provide a garden that has much more than a lawn and possibly some trees.
This has always been a disappointment to me because whilst I am certainly no Alan Titchmarsh, I do quite like a spot of gardening, nothing extravagant, a few flowers, some rose bushes and maybe a couple of shrubs. Gardening has been proven to be therapeutic and when we did have our own home and garden, I quite enjoyed rooting out the weeds and seeing the flowers emerging in the spring.
But at every house over the past 12 years I have cut the grass when I have to and weeded only when it was essential.
The house we are in at the moment has a front and back garden. The back garden is never used; the grass has to be cut with an industrial sized strimmer because of the stones and other debris covering the uneven patch of land. It’s not a place to enjoy, although the local deer seem to like it; there is evidently a plant there that they are quite partial to and we also have some chickens that occasionally stray into the area from who knows where.
However, the front lawn is not quite as bad; it’s possible to run my lawnmower over the surface without breaking the blade and a few weeks ago I noticed some leaves emerging along the border with the wall.
I knew they weren’t weeds because they had clearly been planted specifically in a row and anyway, I thought I recognised the leaves – tulips or similar.
So I have been carefully snipping the grass around their base and avoided slicing them into bits with the mower.
And this week something finally appeared at the top of the very long thin stems. It wasn’t what I was expecting, it definitely wasn’t a tulip, it was the size of a very fat grape, just as round and just as smooth. Most of these ball shapes were the same shade of green as the leaves, but one of them had a purple splash. Then one day, one of the little spheres burst open to reveal dozens of little stalks with dots on the end.
Not having a clue, I went to my online fountain of knowledge aka Twitter and asked one of my virtual flower buddies who told me within minutes that they were one of my all time favourite flowers, alliums
I don’t yet know what colours they are going to be but after saving them from decapitation and reinforcing their rather shallow planting with extra soil, I am looking forward to seeing them bloom. I’m also happy to nurture them so the next tenant can enjoy them.
Oh, then there’s the fence panel I mentioned. We don’t have one, or rather, we don’t have three. I think the fence belongs to our neighbour but I’m guessing they are also renting judging by the state of their garden, so it’s unlikely they will be interested in replacing the panels.
We are thinking of buying replacement panels and fitting them ourselves so it feels slightly less like a dump and when we sit outside on our recently tidied patio area, we won’t have to look at bits of rotten wood and the neighbour’s untidy garden.
But it’s not quite so easy as not decapitating flowers is it?