• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 12
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A garden is more than growing

How fine to have fair weather! – my grandmother grows sunflowers from seeds
of stories someone told her years ago – a
lady on a bus on the way to shop for her daughter’s wedding said that the only colour
for August is mustard, a swipe of gold, a man who carried the same shopping bag
each week until one day he didn’t and my grandmother wondered if
the handle of the new one carried the same weight – my
grandmother still serves tea outside in china, a turquoise stripe around the lip of each cup,
she swears that nothing tastes the same as tea in a proper teacup,
tells me that a garden is more than growing – is patience, waiting, watching – she
promises that her tomatoes will be plump this year,
that the birds won’t eat her strawberries and that the rains will
come unbidden – St Swithun be damned and all the rest of his socialist saints with him,
the summer will be for her, legs firm as the trunk of her cherry tree, fruitless,