Friday, 15 August 2008

Tending your garden

Today I mowed the lawn. Back in the old country, it was always Staffan’s chore, because powered lawn mowers are toys for boys, and anyway, we had 1.500 square meters of lawn. I see the benefits of a small garden: you can really make it perfect.

There was this priest who saw a magnificent garden and told the man working in it: “See, my son, what a lovely garden you and the Almighty have created”. “You should have seen,” the gardener replied, “what it looked like when the Almighty cared for it all by himself”.

Our landlady told me that she wasn’t interested in gardening and that I could do whatever I wanted. Yet since it is not really my garden, I won’t do everything I’d want. The stepping stones have sunk a few centimetres into the earth, as they usually do. In my own garden, I would dig them up and lay anew. And who wants stepping stones right under the shrubs? Perhaps they were there before the shrubs.

And then there is moss. Anyone who has tried to exterminate moss in the lawn knows it’s a lost battle. The best advice I’ve read on this issue was: “Pretend it’s a Japanese garden”. This is what I’ll have to do. But I have discovered lilies among the weeds, pebble edges under grass and a dead bird in the corner. I don't know into which garbage bin dead birds are supposed to go. I have trimmed the shrubs, cutting off all withered twigs. And God saw that it was good.

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