a gingery chai is made and choose to sit in the wintery sunshine outside amongst the lavender, bouganvillia, violas and cyclamens. Some incense is burning to still our minds and remind us of the oneness of even this garden, neglected and tormented for so many years. Now, as we unfold it, care about it, this garden reveals its secrets to us like a lover shy with the one they are sure about. Magpies never fail to laugh at us both, the garden and I, slowly embracing each other, and then, again with joy in their voice, carol us together with endless song and encouragement.
Names for its secrets are yet to come. Some return like long lost memories. A tortured diosma, lovingly pruned, is in abundant flower. Orange flowers of long lanky bulb-grow appear, first hesitantly then with more boldness. Nasturtiums, climbing over old frames,begin their yellow and red petticoat show. Another bulb, I should know it’s name, begins pushing up blue flower heads. The lanky bush that I nearly pruned – what stopped me? – is covered, covered, in white flowers along each lanky branch. And the soursobs flower endlessly.
Tentative parsley borders the lettuces, the chives too still tentative, and we will them on. The thyme looks forlorn, waiting for warmer sun days. But the tulsi is shooting, the lemon verbena too. Rosemary – one bush tortured and another very small – flower and show new growth. Topknot pigeons hoot hoot amongst it all, and lorikeets visit, not yet secure enough to come close.
Bay leaves and rosemary dry in the sun, some lavender also. I am reminded by the chai that I must plant some ginger – give it a go anyway.