The Foreigner

4th May 2023

Grant was contemplating the hill behind our house, where he’d cleared away a lot of invasive bushes last Fall:

“That would be a good place for wildflowers.”

The morning being suitably cool, I decided there was no time like the present for a short foray into the garden.

Once it gets warm and buggy, I very quickly lose interest in gardening. So, since there seems to be no further risk of frost, it was a good time to get seeds into the ground.

Climbing into my muck boots, I grabbed the seed packet and a garden fork and went to do the job.

“No need for gloves”, I thought.

That’s what I always think!

It seems I am incapable of sticking to a single chore. My plan is supposed to be one thing at a time. Yes, well.

All the rain we’ve had recently has resulted in great growth spurts and what grows bigger, faster?

Brambles, for one. The time to deal with those is before they take hold!

Also before new growth all around makes it impossible to get to them.

They are everywhere, but there was one in particular that was taunting me:

“Ha ha! You can’t get to me!”

Never tell me I can’t.

This bramble made the mistake of waving itself about and advertising its intentions. It was going to climb up the slope and throttle the bushes.

That slope is a bit slippery, a bit steep, a bit well, unsafe for someone with unreliable balance.

Bah. I’ve always been very good at falling. I know exactly how to do it so it does the least amount of damage.

So while Grant was out, I nipped down and chopped off the cheeky bramble.

Then, of course I noticed other things…

“Really, you’ll be much happier growing down there in the field. Here, let me help you…”

Yes, I apologise to weeds.

I offer them alternate accommodations…

But I should have used gloves.

My mother felt about flowers the way I feel about animals. She was devoted to her gardens and she had quite a few over the years that were a real challenge.

In Cambodia she made her first attempt at tropical gardening. It was very different.

Apart from anything else, my parents never stayed more than 2 years in any one place.

The garden in Laos was almost devoid of flowers which seems very strange to me now.

The front yard was almost all stones.

But Mum managed to dig an area behind the house. Strangely she grew vegetables.

They were impressive but they had never been her thing.

It’s curious, as you get older, the things you think of from the past that make no sense!

Maybe they made perfect sense and you’ve forgotten.

But there are so many questions I should have asked and never did. I hear this from other people my age.

My parents retired in Barbados and there they had a splendid tropical garden full of hibiscus.

Dad painted each of those blooms and he also did a couple of larger paintings.

The flowers are lovely, but my favourite painting is the one Dad called “The Foreigner”.

Approaching their house, you brushed past a selection of exotic blooms and at the doorstep there was their budgie, Chibbie.

My parents had occasionally interacted with other people’s pets, but they were not interested in having one themselves.

With the exception of budgies. From when I was very young, they always had a budgie.

And I was always terribly fond of them.

4 thoughts on “The Foreigner

  1. Oh, I love Grant’s idea of ​​planting wildflowers – that’s my favourite! While looking at your father’s artwork, I once again realised just how talented he was – the painting of “The Foreigner” is beautiful. But so are your photos of the flowers covered with raindrops … that’s an art in itself to take such lovely photos.

  2. Hibiscus is lovely. Their garden must have looked beautiful. I have no interest in gardening whatsoever. In Britain, that is almost considered sacrilege.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply