Friday, 12 July 2013
Went to cafe Church this morning. Sat drinking coffee with friends John and Gloria, when Hilary came and joined us. "After we've had our coffee", says Hilary, "I want the four of you to come and look round my garden". A fortnight ago we had our annual 'Open Gardens Day' in our town, and owing to a very important prior engagement, we hadn't been able to go and see Hilary's garden, and neither had John and Gloria. Hilary lives about a hundred yards from the Church in a rambling medieval house, with a tiny walled 'courtyard' garden at the back. It is South facing, completely enclosed, and quite charming. Three of the walls have old fruit trees espaliered to them, a huge fig tree (laden with fruit), a peach tree, apple trees, and a young apricot tree Hilary put in last year. It has a very comprehensive herb garden, and a small brick built pond. Hilary's late husband John was a retired Canon of the Church, and also a very skilled 'Do it yourself' workman. He built the heavy frame which now supports the ancient fig-tree. Not ancient in the sense of centuries old; I think John put it in about fifty years ago.
Hilary showed us the corner pictured above, and said "This bit's called Babylon". "Why ?" I said, knowing I'd regret it. "The hanging garden", says Hilary with a sort of quiet triumph.
Above photo is of the fig tree, which has a large timber frame above it supporting the whole canopy of the tree. This is, as I said, laden with fruit. As Hilary had provided a bottle of wine (from her fridge), a large bag of potato crisps, and the requisite number of glasses and garden chairs, a very pleasant time was had by all.
More in a min.