steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Figure and Ground - a Mid-Terrace Allegory

Here is my garden. It's not much to look at.


I like my apple tree, and I keep the lawn mown (apart from the bit on the left, which is sacred to the memory of guinea pigs past), and this year I've been squirting the aphids out of their hideouts in the honeysuckle buds with a water spray, so I hope to have some honeysuckle soon. But - well, I'm not much of a gardener in truth.

Sometimes, in 70s sitcom fashion, I look over at my next-door neighbours' place. It's a very different kettle of fish.


It's a bit too everything-in-its-place for comfort, perhaps, but it still makes me feel inadequate by contrast. On such occasions I need do no more than look at my other next-door neighbours' garden to feel like the love-child of Capability Brown and Gertrude Jekyll.


(The missing fence, by the way, is theirs. They've been just about to replace it for four months now.)

So here I am in the middle, treading a path of moderation, a bit like a horticultural Nick Clegg, neither as regimented as my left-hand neighbours nor as chaotic as my right-hand neighbours. I might even manage to convince myself that my garden is really the best garden in the best of all possible worlds.

Then I look at it again, and remember that actually it really is a bit shit.
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