More of paper beach

Hi All,

I had way too many pictures to put them all into that last post. I decided to split them into two, one lot of Rogers amazing garden and the other of the rest of the part of Paper Beach that we walked around.  I wanted to share some of the pretty beachside cottages with you and the gardens. When the sun is out, this area is absolutely beautiful. The beach is pebbly, much like English beaches and I have collected many pretty stones from here. I remember talking to Roger about collecting rumbled sea glass. I spent a lot of time picking bits up along with any pieces of pottery. I had visions of some sort of garish mosaic emblazoned on the back of our wood fired pizza oven but at the moment they are all stuck on top of potted plants. The ducks have been doing their level best to toss anything shiny onto the ground, but I just pick it up again to their frustration.  The little potted plants that I moved around to a more shaded area appear to be doing just fine. The ducks gave them an initial beaking, but seem to have gotten bored of them now and hopefully they will grow well until we can get somewhere for them to be transplanted out into. My sister and brother have been sorting out my mother’s belongings and affairs. No one wants to be mercenary about who gets what but it is inevitability and as we go through mums humble belongings it will no doubt be a most difficult task. I personally have asked for mums cook books. She was a cook in various places for many years and her cookbooks went with her everywhere. I know that in those flour dusty pages she spent many hours of her life baking cakes for so many people and keeping us fed when the wolves were at the door with her most inventive recipes. It seems so wrong to be delving in my mother’s privacy and belongings. She was such a collector of “things” that had no material value and I have inherited this love of smooth pebbles, beach glass and bits and pieces found on the side of pathways, the sea side and anywhere else.


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My sister told me something today that made me smile. She had been sorting through papers and found mum’s diary that she was writing in when she was here at Christmas time. Taped in-between the pages were little ziplock bags of various seeds that she had appropriated from our garden while we were out walking the dogs first thing in the morning. As ever, mum was NOT going to be told that she couldn’t take seeds back with her and avoided this confrontation by simply not telling us. She could be crafty and I had to hold my tongue several times when she would tell me about various ventures regarding seed sending missions between international cousins and aunts. Why would you pay for seeds when you could get them for free? Mums garden was her creative outlet and the only place where she could ultimately be in control. She never owned her own house and every rental that she moved into she changed and left all the better for her natural gardening prowess. She inherited this ability to create a green and productive space around her from my grandmother and my brother has inherited it from her. I had to learn it the hard way and it still doesn’t come as naturally to me as it did to mum. It was always a pleasure to walk through any of mums gardens. There was always something to eat from some productive plant. She had all sorts of berries growing and there were always tomatoes and cape gooseberries for hungry mouths. We learned about the cycle of life through mum’s compost heaps and through the many and varied types of insect that would spend their time predating and being predated themselves. All of this happened despite mum never having “a brass razoo”. Mum did it all by clever propagation and swapping and saving up to get her most precious plants. When she moved into her small unit she took everything that she could from her larger ¼ acre garden and had the time to be able to transplant all sorts of vegetables and fruit trees and when faced with problems about space she went vertical. She had hanging pots with tomatoes growing out of them upside down. She never paid for a pot to grow them specifically that way, she simply made her own. Not having money never stopped mum from making the most beautiful, lush and productive garden possible. Where money was tight, time seemed endless and so she put herself into her garden day by day, week by week and as my sister said when I asked her to take photographs of mums garden before it starts to be removed to various other gardens, “she had only just weeded everything the day before, her garden was lush, green and absolutely beautiful”.

My mother was a survivor. She was an optimist at heart who always thought the best of people until proven otherwise. Her garden reflected her nature and was a glorious mix of colour, greenery, fruit, vegetables and herbs. She took my thrifty grandmothers lessons in the garden and expanded on them. Gran grew herbs way before it was trendy to do so and our meals were always redolent with the scent and flavour of them. The pioneering spirit of these hard working women who used their wits rather than money to provide for their families and grow as much as they could to feed us all and enrich our lives with the scent of lavender and roses lives on in me and I owe it to them to do everything that I can to share this precious gift. We will make sure that mums garden survives and prospers in its new homes. We owe it to her to do this because her garden was part of her and by ensuring its survival, each one of us will be doing our bit to allow her to live on in her plants.

This is Steve. I have just read Fran’s thing about the oven and guess what…we are going to do it in the next week or so , I want to get the bricks back and some mortar and I want us to build it , we know where it’s going and now we are not going to be lazy we will do it. The car with the new clutch will pull the trailer so let’s get that sucker done eh 


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Das Wree
    Jan 15, 2012 @ 12:49:20

    I will say that is an excellent proposition good sir and wish you a hearty ‘Boo Yah’ in your oven endeavours.


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