Monday, 26 July 2010

Ten Minutes Sitting In My Garden

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I am sitting at the bottom of my garden on the first day of the school holidays taking notes on a pad.
The African Lilies (Agapanthus) are doing well this year. 10 heads of flowers. They like to be pot bound and this year they are well and truly wedged into an earthen ware pot that looks too small for them.
I usually protect them with fleece during the Winter but last year I didn't as I was feeling the effects of chemo and didn't even know if I would be alive in the Summer. It really didn't seem important. However, in spite of us having one of the harshest winters in living memory, the plant has thrived like never before. I will never bother to wrap it again.
These South African lilies must be hardier than they look.

As I said before...... I am sitting in the garden and listening to the sounds around me.
I can hear a clock chime the hour from a building nearby. I can hear traffic noises from the road close by. Something behind me is being unloaded from a van and there are thumps and crashes.
My shed is creaking in the warmth of the sun. There are crows in the tree behind me, calling out to each other. One of next door's cats is creeping about in the honeysuckle hedge waiting for me to go, so that he can sneak into my garden.
A piano is being played by a child and more children are playing and calling out in a garden nearby to my left.
Seagulls fly overhead squawking and shrieking as they go.
Now and then an aircraft roars overhead making quite a noise. We seem to be under a regular flight path here, though the planes are high up.

Another consignment of things are delivered to a business near by and doors slam and boxes thump. Men exchange greetings and instructions.
There seems to be a wailing/howling sound coming from somewhere on my right. It comes and goes sporadically.
Indian music comes from a radio in the far distance, as some workmen do repairs.
Bees buzz about my head, visiting what is left of the Ceanothus flowers near where I sit. Although the flowers seem to be dead, the bees and hover flies are still attracted to something or other. I know not what.
Swifts fly overhead, calling as they go. I love that sound of Summer.

I live in a city house with a small city garden. I like living here. I get used to the sounds. Anyone living here would know that it wasn't like living in the country. If it was peace and quiet that was wanted then you wouldn't choose to live here.
Next door's cat has now braved coming over and is drinking from my watering can.

Ah......... I forgot to mention my wind chimes......
There is a gentle breeze and the sounds come and go, but they are in tune!
Nothing has been said since the last onslaught over a week ago, but I might be premature in thinking this.
This morning an official looking man with a clip board knocked on my door and said he was from the Council.
"Oh," I said, "It must be about the wind chimes."
He looked at me as though I had gone stark raving mad. "No," He said, "Its about loft insulation. Didn't you get the letter?"







35 comments:

jinksy said...

Lovely flowers - and windchimes! I have some on the INSIDE of my patio door , so they chime at me every time I go in or out, or draw the curtains of an evening. I also have strings of little bells in my lounge doorway, and more above the bannister at the foot of my stairs, so just like Quasimodo, I can go through my day saying 'The bells, the bells!' :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

That was wonderful Maggie - just like sitting there in the garden with you. I could imagine it all - even the man with the clipboard and you mistaking his quest! I found my wind chimes a few days ago but now I have nowhere to hang them! A x

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

what an amazing outside view of what it sounds like in your little corner of the world...!!!!loved it!

Akelamalu said...

I adore sitting out in my back garden - it's very peaceful. Unfortunately it's raining today but warm so the back door is open so I can smell the garden. :)

TechnoBabe said...

See, you have the wind chime issue at the forefront and you think it is an issue still to be dealt with. I can picture you sitting in your garden and I can hear all the sounds. Normal, living around other people sounds.

Ayak said...

What a beautifully descriptive post Maggie...one can almost imagine being there with you.
The flowers are lovely xxx

Gail said...

Lovely piece of writing Maggie. Very evocative. It's true that your senses become much sharper when you sit outside and hear and observe that's going on around us.

CherylK said...

I just loved sitting in your garden with you! Honestly, although I live outside of town and it's fairly quiet, I could live in the middle of the city and be perfectly happy. I love the sounds and really do miss the hustle and bustle of city life.

Those African Lilies are gorgeous! Wonder if they'd grow here in Minnesota?

gaelikaa said...

Oh, my life is full of little surprises like that, Maggie! LOL

slommler said...

All sounded so peaceful until the councilman showed up!! Insulation? Well at least they are leaving the chimes alone! Ha!
I live in the country but there is still a lot of noise. Animals and birds; planes up high, wind, and the like. I can even hear the traffic from the freeway which is miles and miles away. The sound carries that well.
Enjoy your week
Hugs
SueAnn

Ann Best said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on my High-Five post. I'm glad you did. I've neglected coming over here, much to my regret. I've got to figure out how to keep track of my favorite blogs and stop by them more often. The more followers one gets, the more difficult this becomes. Your pictures are as always beautiful. Sorry you don't live in a quiet place anymore, but you have the writer's eye that sees details, your eye no doubt sharpened by the trials you are experiencing in your life. As you know, it's the beauty and little surprises that keep one going....

Gone Back South said...

Hiya Maggie, how great to read that you've gone back to work a little bit. Lovely photos x

Mimi said...

Maggie, I'm chuckling loudly as I write this! Poor council guy! So thanks for a great laugh!
Your African Lilies are gorgeous!

And I love your descriptions of the sounds all around you as you sit in your city garden. They're much the same as I hear in mine, and I too love living there- the quietness of the contry wouldn't suit me.
I'm so glad you're alive, well, and able to enjoy this summer.
Great post!

Nora said...

I was sitting in the garden with you and hearing every sound and thinking, poor Maggie doesn't get any peace and quiet, but maybe you like it so. You seem to be used to it anyway.
I must admit that I am almost used to the noises around here and that I block them out most of the time. I never do get used to the airplanes, but they do fly over quite low.
Agapanthus is a lovely flower. I used to have it in California.
Hugs!

Marguerite said...

The South African Lilies are so lovely and so was this post. I'm so glad that you are enjoying life, again, and that the wind chime ordeal seems to be over. Blessings, Marguerite

The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street said...

I'd spend 20 minutes sitting in your garden, listening to the sound of your wind chimes.

Dimple said...

I could hear all the noises around you--it was rather louder than I like, but I am a country person! The birds and the wind chimes were music to my ears, though!

Bernie said...

Maggie, you sound so happy and content sitting in the warm sun. I love knowing you are doing so well.
Your flowers are lovely and the windchimes.....I am sure they never sounded more beautiful.
Nice that they are putting in the insulation before witer Maggie.
.........:-) Big Hugs

Beth said...

A stunning photo of beautiful flowers. Thanks so much for posting these incredible delights of nature. Iflorist.co.uk

SandyCarlson said...

Goodness, that meditation on a beautiful day in life, for life, of life was gorgeous. Thanks, Maggie.

ladyfi said...

What a lovely world you live in! Most people are like those South African flowers - tougher than they look, yet gorgeous too.

Mickle in NZ said...

AFter the chaos from last year's kitchen repairs it must be lovely to be enjoying your garden, complete with wind chimes, again.

There are Agapanthus plants in my garden, I do enjoy their hardiness as well as the beautiful flowers.

Sending care and loving huggles, Michelle and Zebby

Suburbia said...

Glad you are here to enjoy it all, lovely to hear your descriptions. Also glad you have had a week of peace : )

Rose said...

I could almost feel as if I were sitting here with you, Maggie, listening to all the sounds around...and I kept wondering, what about the windchimes? Glad you haven't had any more problems, and apparently when city officials come by, it's best not to say a word:)

Lovely lilies; plants can often surprise us--these are obviously survivors, too.

Expat mum said...

Ha ha ha. Loft insulation indeed. I will have to enjoy your garden instead of my own since the dog has flattened most of my flowers and stripped the bushes. Grrr.

Moannie said...

Isn't there an old song entitled 'Peaceful Street'? Sounds as if you live on it. Though having said that I can hear the same busy sounds when in my garden. Comforting...

secret agent woman said...

What an interesting looking flower cluster. Will those buds open into something like Asiatic lilies or daylilies?

Wendy said...

You write so well! I could visualize myself sitting with you in your garden, listening and watching as everything goes on around us.

Ha! I'll bet you were surprised by the man's answer. He must have been thinking "wind chimes? what on earth???"
Hugs
p.s. - glad you're feeling a whole lot better this summer.

Brian Miller said...

love the sounds in your garden...including the wind chimes...smiles. beautiful flower...

Jeni said...

It's funny but I live in a very small village but the sounds I hear throughout the day are pretty much like yours -except for the wind chimes (none here) and for the noises of children at play. Only if my grandkids are outside playing are those noises present as the population along this street is very sparse when it comes to young children and especially to find any of those who do live here being outside playing. Unlike when I was a kid and the streets teemed with the noises of kids playing all kinds of games! I miss that today ya know!

Teacher's Pet said...

The way you wrote this, Maggie...I feel as if I can hear the sounds...smell the flowers, and feel the breeze. Thank you for letting me sit in your garden with you...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Just like the garden I sometimes sit in when I visit. Very peaceful.
Glad the chime incident seems to be resolved. I have a hunch she will go away now.
Hugs ~ Eddie

Working Mum said...

Lovely picture you painted there. I was transported from my rainy Manchester suburb to a sunny, busy little spot with a bemused Council worker! :)

Hilary said...

What a perfect place to sit for a while. Your African Lilies are proof that what challenges you makes you stronger. Much like the lady who tends them

Sue said...

the photos of the lilies pack such an intensity of anticipation within them -- when will the bloom? how gorgeous will they be then? Don't you just love that moment on the cusp, just before everything bursts into bloom?