My son tells me he thinks our garden needs some attention (but not in those words). As we walk from our back door, trip through the wreckage of an abandoned ball game, and squeeze past a sad old trampoline, he points to the straggly plants which over-populate the flower beds, and asks if they are weeds.
He shrugs his small shoulders, a shade unimpressed.
But when we crunch down the gravelled passageway that lies between the our home’s west flank and our neighbour’s fence, both our faces lift to admire the delicate white-pink apple blossom suspended just above our heads. Fresh flowers, small unopened buds and bright green leaves clutter the apple tree’s dark brown branches.
It is not our tree. Our neighbour’s yard has already been generous with its cherry blossom this spring, and I’ve been spying magnolia over many a local garden hedge.
Now it seems we get to share some more spring surprises.
A Czech proverb says that “a good neighbour increases the value of your property.” Which seems so for us (especially if we gain a windfall apple situation in the autumn) .. but I’m not sure that we offer our kind and green-fingered neighbour much in return … the batter of mis-hit balls, the thump of constant drum practice, the regular beat of angry words, the odd punched “ouch” – all jarring with my yells at the kids to “STOP IT RIGHT NOW!”
Hey-ho. As I often tell my kids, and as I was told when I was young, “Life’s not fair.”
Come autumn, though, I could pick some of my neighbour’s sweet apples, raid the wildly painful blackberry bushes that grow rampantly on our side of the fence, and make a mean apple and blackberry crumble … to share.
A win-win result (with weeds on top). Whoever said “Life’s not fair?”
(Or am I just burying my head in the sand (soil) because I ought to get on with the gardening?).