A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Trampling Huns & Little Girl Hostesses
Sunday, May 04, 2008

One of the perils of opening one's garden to a tour is that even if I tell Rosemary that nobody is going to bother to look at the outside of the house she worries that people will do just that. Since we moved to our house on Athlone Street in 1986 we have only had our house painted once. And it was a nerve racking experience. The only way you can paint our house is to do so in the waning days of summer, after we simply say to ourselves, "Let the painters step on anything. The plants will come back next year." To paint our house or even approach a cosmetic "paint the flaws" approach now is at best a compromise. These cosmetic touches cannot be applied until the weather is warm enough and dry enough for the paint to stick. This means the plants (including delicate ferns and emerging hostas) will suffer the fearsome effects of our local Attilas who have no idea of their fragile nature.

Yesterday was one of the most stressful days in memory for us as our Bosnian Attila trampled back and forth while painting with finesse the peeling stucco that had been "gently" removed by his German Attila cohort with 2200psi. To be fair no painter that I know would have accepted such a job that involved placing ladders in almost dangerous angles when scaffolding should have been erected. Worst of all we could not spend much time with Rebecca who given no direction will end up dressing dolls on the computer or watching TV. Lauren, on the other hand stayed outside talking to our Bosnian Attila. He talks even when we are not nearby. Here he finally found his match and he warmed up to her. Considering that he is poised to be a grandfather by December this bodes well. He is gentle with children even if with us he complains of the working conditions, the cold , the rain and our impossible demands.

Lauren spent the day outside while asking me questions on absolutely everything. I kept thinking while showing much patience and restraint, "Go and talk to him."

But both Rosemary and I know that when the visitors from the home and gardens (one garden, ours!) Ballet BC tour come at the end of the month the garden will be as ready as it can possibly be. Both Rebecca and Lauren will be wearing dresses and, if weather permits, they will be barefoot. I will teach Lauren the names of some plants (Rebecca knows many already) and they will be our hostesses while se sit down and enjoy the hordes of visitors (anywhere between 1500 and 2000). Stressful times will be in the past and even though Rosemary said, "Never again," I am sure that if someone calls to ask us if we will open the garden next year...


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C.C. Humphreys - Absolute Sword Player

Tuesdays With Morrie - The More Than Human Jazz Pi...

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A Study In Blue - Redux

Raymond Lum, Eric Ambler - In Praise of Accuracy

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Lurid Rhododendrons & Watermelon

Epimedium x rubrum - A Cinderellla Plant

Kelly Tough - Not So

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