In the fantasy version of my life I live in a Jacobean farmhouse somewhere, with a lavender and pink rose border lining the path to the front foor, and herbaceous borders the lawns. And somewhere there’s a perfect kitchen garden, full of pretty vegetables and herbs and edible flowers. I’m not much of a gardener, truth to be told tho, so I will probably always keep indulging in this fantasy merely by visiting other people’s gardens…
As a city dweller (first floor, with a view of traffic lights and a cemetery), I dream of the time when I can have my own garden – berries and apples, rhubarbs under bells, neat rows of vegetables and beets and herbs, sweet peas (which smell like heaven and don’t photograph at all well) and autumn dahlias. One day.
In my fantasies, this is the garden of my cottage somewhere near the seaside.
Actually, these flowers all grown in the Oxford University Botanic Gardens. When I was still a student, I used to go there all the time, especially in the summers, sit somewhere for hours reading, enjoying the relative quiet. My heart bled when last summer they knocked down the Tolkien tree, an ancient black pine under which the writer used to sit, tree so big and so old it couldn’t hold its own weight anymore. One of my favourite Botanic Garden memories though is from the bleak midwinter of my first year as a student in Oxford. On a particularly grey, dull January Sunday morning, I walked around the gardens with a friend; the plants were dead and the flower beds empty, not even the snowdrops blooming yet. There was a fog – not a romantic mist, but the sort of damp, cold fog that the English winter so excels at, and we escaped its clutches to the nearest pub, where we sat by the fire, ordered lunch and watched through the windows how sleet started to fall. A day as perfect as it was opposite to this.
And there were perfect vegetables:
All photos were taken with SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm lens.