We are not on top of the garden. The garden is firmly and cheerfully on top of us, like a toddler giggling and sitting on your face. I have decided that this will just have to be the way it is this year. When I look at our diaries and see how much of this spring and last autumn I have been in Devon and how much Ian has been either totally committed to looking after his father or in Manchester working or building a kitchen it seems fairly extraordinary that there is anything out there looking even faintly like a garden. This much land gardened in this way needs time and it has not had that sort of time. But it is June and things are flowering and growing and glowing with life so we are going to choose where and how to look.
Look this way at the glory of the chives and the mint garden, where spearmint, applemint, basil mint, common mint, lime mint and peppermint jostle for space. The more vigorous mints, the common mint and the basil mint being the worst culprits, are bursting out of their slate boxes and invading other mints, looking for lebensraum. I must go through and intervene.
Don't look this way, where the raised beds cleared by the teenage son of a friend a couple of months ago have already been taken back by a tide of opium poppies, grass and dandelions. There is stuff waiting in the greenhouse to come out here so this will have to go to make room for that.
Don't look this way where a bramble and some goosegrass are fighting for space by the lemon balm.
Look into the tumbling spires of fennel, already higher than my head, holding the raindrops in its feathery foliage.
I was going to move these lupins. They are so vigorous in the cutting garden that they are overpowering the new box hedge. They are also so huge, another plant higher than my head, that they are not really suitable as cut flowers. But never mind, look at them, reaching for the sky behind the Euphorbia Oblongata. They may be in the wrong place, but they are beautiful.
And the poppies are beginning to come out. For a few precious days these flowers are perfection.
I could live in them, drown in them, wrap the petals round me and sleep in them.
The bindweed might be trumping the jasmine in front of the house.
But the meadow is full of buttercup and sorrel and plantain and the alliums are singing out against the glossy deep green of the acanthus leaves. It all depends on where and how you look.