after many years of marriage we moved into my wife’s childhood home. the garden is not only large but labour intensive: a large lawn, pebbled paths, box hedge boundaries and many rose plants. lucky for me that Liz likes to be out in the garden!
Patient suitcases casually thrown, no longer travel bound,
empty old fasioned watering cans just lying around;
this greenhouse flourished, much organic greenery,
nothing is disposed, such shambolic suburban scenery.
Terracotta toy helmets, upturned plant pots,
vainly waiting fingers, knowledgeable or not,
empty and unemployed, except for cobwebs and air,
once they held many plants, tended with much care.
My horticulturalist mother-in-law, now long gone,
held rigid rose-pruning rules recalled, acted upon:
my primitive approach once caused scowling despair,
redundant those garden hats, covering scant hair.
She bequeathed her quaint, old-fashioned garden
my wife tends her heritage – but me – I ask for pardon;
I only discipline roses, I battle with box hedges,
Liz leans awkwardly to trim neighbour-neglected edges.
Not quite a gardening pair, slightly complimentary,
I’m not quite accountable at certain ports of entry,
I leave sowing, weeding, hand-mowing, exectera to Liz
– but those abscences cost me yet another bed-time quiz.