Dad used to love looking out of his living room window. Before the roadside trees were planted some 25 years ago, the large bay window gave views of fields and woodland – the same that gave me so much peace when in the depths of my breakdown.
Of course, closer to home, the window looks out on to the small front garden- traditional hedges, borders, grass and a pond. Pretty much how it has always been for fifty odd years.
Well, up until recently.
The main change is that Dad is not on hand to a) do the gardening or b) persuade one of his daughters to do it whilst moaning that we shouldn’t.
I used to love gardening with my dad. In fact, my very first WordPress blog was about rediscovering the lost garden of my home when Dad first started becoming ill about ten years ago.
Now, I just can’t do it. It’s not a choice, it’s a great wall built inside. I cannot make myself do it.
So naturally, the grass is long. A few weeks ago (probably months but who’s counting) the many pesky dandelions turned into fluffy white clocks and I sat in my dad’s recliner chair in its new home in the bay window, looking out and thinking that I’m going to have an even bigger problem with dandelions next year if I don’t get rid of them.
I sit in the chair quite often as it has no view of the TV so no-one else sits in it. I feel cosy there and can look out of the window whilst also feeling isolated. One day a long tailed tit fluttered near the window, oblivious to my watching astonishment, and snatched an unlucky spider from the upvc.
Dad loved watching the birds and so I guess he would also have loved the fact that the same long tailed tit was seen weighing down a dandelion clock and thoroughly enjoying eating each of the seeds. Of course, Dad would never have let the dandelion clocks survive long enough to be eaten but you get my sentiment.
So I blame the birds for not mowing the grass again.
At the moment, I have a flowering ragwort plant right in the middle of the lawn. Yes, the yellow flowers are bright but with a name like ragwort and the fact it is highly poisonous to animals (and probably humans) means it is not a gardening favourite.
Although today, as I sat in the chair talking to Wild Card and again thinking I should cut the lawn, I noticed something odd about the flowers.
These beautiful caterpillars are from an even more beautiful moth. And their favourite food? Yup, ragwort.
There is a lesson in there somewhere.