Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Messy, Beautiful

Okay, confession time.  I'm sure I must have said this before, but I am with messiest, most disorganised person I've ever met.  It's true.  If there was an equivalent of the Turner or Booker prize for being messy and disorganised, no one else would bother entering - I would win every year.  Sometimes, though admittedly not very often, I'll get tired of losing stuff, (bills) forgetting stuff, (other bills) and having the kitchen engulfed by mountains of paperwork. (yes - bills again)  When that happens, I'll have a huge purge on my clutter and bad habits, but it's a bit like a butterfly trying to get out of closed window, fluttering away but never succeeding. Try as hard as I like, it doesn't take long for my slovenly ways to reappear.  Leopards, spots, and all that.

The same is true of my garden.  Every spring I promise myself I'm not going to let it get into a state this year.  My neighbours have stunning ornamental gardens, the sort of thing you see in magazines.  While I like to assure them I'm performing a great service by accommodating the local weeds, they eye the riot of horsetail and willow-weed, and shudder.  My garden is a mess.  As within, so without - in every sense of the expression.

So it came as a surprise last night to stumble across a pile of photographs I'd forgotten to upload last year, and wow! Yes, weeds might have the upper hand, but this is a beautiful garden teeming with wildlife.
Can you see the two wild rabbits on the path plus our (now deceased) chicken Tikka?

The vegetable plot (albeit rather overgrown)
This is an Elephant Hawk Month caterpillar. There were so many in the garden last year - apparently Willow-weed is their favourite food. The biggest ones were literally the size and thickness of my middle finger. I've never seen the actual moths in real life. Apparently they emerge around May, and I'm hoping to spot one. They are light brown with fuchsia wings, although I'm betting it'll be hard to tell in at dusk when the moths are about.

I rescued this grasshopper from drowning in the birdbath.

Horsetail, couch grass and bog rush. We've toad rush too - what a lovely combination - and there's a bit of chamomile and wild geranium in there too just for good measure.  Yes, my neighbours really love living next door to me!!

Common green bottle fly just chillin' on the sweet peas.

Flight of a bumblebee!


Messy, beautiful, and definitely not a show-garden!

A splurge of poppies.

I sneaked this one in because I love the contrast between the gravel path and this peacock butterfly.

At least these guys appreciate the rampant Buddleia.


I'm really impressed by just how colourful the garden looks in the pictures.  The photos have made me rethink how I feel about not being neat, tidy and in control of the weeds.  In fact I wonder if photographing the mess indoors and not looking at it for a long time might have the same effect.  Now there I could be on to something, but somehow I rather much doubt it!


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