Sunday, 24 July 2011

Granny's garden at Crayke (part two)

"At the top of the hill outside the greenhouse was a small rose garden.  The roses were mostly pink and dark red.  Father liked a dark red rose best.  He pruned them himself and I used to enjoy watching him.
The square was the sunniest and most sheltered part.  Nurse used sometimes to send us to walk round the square on a winter's morning if there was no time for a walk.  The centre of the square was occupied by an asparagus bed with peas, beans and carrots in season and a border of flowers round, sweet peas, gypsophila, shirley poppies and love-in-a-mist.  There were also some frames for early lettuces and seedlings.  Below the square was a bed for spring greens and radishes and parsley and a large blackcurrant bush.  Then came the main potato patch.  All down beside the potatoes were steps with logs of wood for treads.  Below the potatoes were cabbages, onions, leeks, celery and marrows.  A small gate led from here into the field.  The field ran steeply downhill but at the bottom was a level lawn where we played bowls, croquet or tennis.
Two fine oak trees grew near the lawn.  One was easy to climb and provided good seats.  The other oak was very old and had a stout trunk.  The roller stood up against it and by climbing onto the handle, Margie and I could be hoisted up to the first intersection where the branches spread out.  Room could be made for all five of us to sit at the top of the trunk.

We each had a garden of our own near the house, where we grew pansies, mignonette, forget-me-nots, candytuft and such easy growing flowers.  Father had a special place for primroses and was very fond of his blue primroses.  Every year he would arrange his plants to form the initials of one of the family.  How proud I was when it came to my turn and I saw E.M.W in primroses!
We had a swing and a see-saw under the chestnut trees.  I was afraid of the see-saw as I once got my leg pinched when I sat in the middle.  Sometimes all five of us climbed on the swing together and pretended we were Huguenots escaping from our enemies, or Cavaliers being chased by Roundheads.  The swing went up and up and faster and faster until at last we reached safety."

The garden and field were sold off some time around the 1960s and I believe houses were built there.  The garden obviously had a huge impact on Granny as she could remember it all so vividly.  She was extremely knowledgeable about plants and flowers, particularly wild flowers, and sometimes would collect us from the bus stop after school and point out all the different flowers we walked past on the way home.  I am sure she would be very pleased that I love gardening so much.

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