Tuesday, 1 June 2004

The Secret Garden

Posted by Hello
I fancy a monolith in my garden, it would look great and I could pop out and do a bit of worshipping on hot summer nights, said Anna, commenting in Maria-Leena Rathje's blog.

Which set me to thinking about my garden.

The borders are pretty much full of the usual sort of things: cherry trees, broom, hawthorn, raspberries, rhubarb, pyracantha, clematis, birch, and like so. But the middle has a big balding lawn which serves no purpose at all and two weed-strewn beds which occasionally play host to courgettes and now hold the Martock Bean Enclosure.

Pretty damn dull, really.

When I was up at Duntrune, I was captivated by the garden there. Whether by design or neglect, the place has fallen into a considerable state of disrepair. The croquet lawn is full of tufts and weeds and - best of all - the stonework balustrades are overgrown with moss and ivy, roses and other creepers. Here and there, small bronze figurines peer out at you from the dark bushes. There's a rill dashing through, which the chaffinches were making great play in, and a splendid pond with a winged Mercury sitting gazing sombrely into it's depths.

Magic, indeed, like Sleeping Beauty's castle garden.

I want my garden to be like that. I have plans for a rockery through which water cascades, then runs down a channel to the pond. The pond, of course, will have to have at least one sloping side to allow the birds to get down and bathe.

When Patsy123 was here last we went to a garden centre which had some great arbours and swinging seats. Maybe I could have one of those.

But I'm particularly keen to introduce unexpected pieces of sculpture and ancient-appearing monoliths. Like the one above, perhaps. Paths made from mosaic pebbles and broken paving stones will wind through forest glades, leading the visitor to secret places and moonlit grottoes. Water will trickle audibly here and there, and there'll be the gentle swish of bamboo and tall grasses. The scent of jasmine, lavender and roses will fill the air. Curious objects will suddenly come into view. The wildlife will scuttle and rustle as we pass by. Sagging pagodas of an indefinable origin will waft their rotting vapours at us. Dark and brooding figures of the Elder Gods will loom out of the shrubbery, and brambles and thorns will tear at our legs as we run for the safety of the patio....

But how do I go about making my monoliths? Easy. Somewhere I have a recipe of Geoff Hamilton's showing how to make a kind of biodegradable concrete out of All Bran and cement!

Wait though. All Bran and cement? That can't be right, surely.....

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