Monday, 10 August 2015

A Fascination with Gardens

I took a shortcut the other day, along a side street I rarely use. When driving I stick to the main route, as speed-bumps and heavy road-side parking do their job and dissuade me from using it as a quick cut through. This day however I was on foot and longed to escape the intimidating and unhealthy rush and choke of traffic that roars past the pavement on the main road. Brick terraced houses jutted up against the pavement, a tiny walled front yard providing a gasp of breathing space between. Each was the same; a path just two or three short strides long, and a doorway set into a brick arch. and yet each was uniquely different to its neighbour. One overflowed with flowers, a rampant buddleia intoxicating a gathering of butterflies. Many were concrete or gravel, perhaps a flower pot or two, but even here weeds found a foot hold in wall or paving cracks. A small child's bicycle lay abandoned by a front step, it must have been time for tea. A rambling rose had decided to go a-visiting the neighbour next door; the perfect hiding place for one of the street's cats to sit beneath and squint at the world as it passed. The grey soil may have forgotten it's fertile roots after centuries of being cramped by brick, tarmac, and tramping feet, but that didn't put off one green-fingered resident. Their optimism inspired the runner beans that climbed a triangle of bean-poles, and a short row of half a dozen leeks beneath the front window. 
I was fascinated by the variety of this row of gardens, and how much was happening in these tiny buffers between pavement life and homely walls. 

In my own garden I too have a buddleia to which butterflies and huge rotund bumblebees have been irresistibly drawn as it hits its flowering peak this week. The slugs and snails continue to munch through my dahlias by night, whilst during the day a host of tiny purple and gold moths bring a touch of fairy dust to the marjoram and lavender where honeybees are foraging. 
Green woodpeckers continue to call in the early mornings and the goldfinches seem to be entertaining another brood of fledglings in the trees across the road. I think it is time to harvest my courgettes. 



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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website www.sophieco.co.uk, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Facebook.com/SophiEcoWild Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis