“Life begins the day you start a garden”
The garden at Stone Cottage
Is such a magical place,
It wraps around our home
Like a scarf around a face.
Despite the heat and the dry
And the wind, it still thrives,
As it demands our attention
And helps shape our lives;
A true reflection of us,
Of our efforts and care,
So generous in returning
All the love that we share,
Teaching us about nature,
Of its fascinating ways,
Watching our garden evolve,
Surely the most special of days.
But there’s so much more to the garden
Than just the plants and the trees
Its insects attract the birds,
Its flowers draw the bees,
So the garden is never still,
Always movement for the eye,
Whether a breeze rippling through,
A visiting bird or butterfly,
Or a bee hard at work
As it moves from flower to flower,
For hour after hour;
A world within a world,
Where from stress we are free,
Our garden at Stone Cottage,
There’s no better place to be.
One of the joys of early winter is the taste of fresh pecan nuts…
A neighbour’s pecan tree
Hangs over the garden wall,
And each year I gather the nuts,
That in my garden fall.
But they’re not all for me,
That harvest hanging there,
As with the local hornbills,
The crop I always share;
And they do have an advantage,
Those hornbills, over me,
Being able to reach the pecans
Still hanging on the tree.
So while I patiently wait
For my pecan nuts to drop,
My clever feathered friends
Are able to browse and to shop.
Some years there’s not so many,
If the pecan crop is small,
Then my black and white visitors
Leave so very few to fall.
But I don’t mind about that,
As their needs are more than mine,
And the few they always leave behind
Will simply suit me fine.
But this year was a bumper crop,
Pecan nuts are everywhere,
And so there have been plenty
For the birds and I to share.
Pecan butter, candied pecans,
What a treat I’ve got in store,
Freshly made from the pecan nuts,
From my neighbour’s tree next door.
The garden has so many visitors….how can you not talk to them?
My garden’s a haven for visitors,
Uncaged and always free to roam,
Bringing me such beauty and colour,
I’m so lucky when they share my home.
I know they haven’t come to see me,
They come for the bounty that’s here on hand,
I can forgive them, then, when they ignore me,
For why they’re here I do understand.
Still I like to give them all greetings,
The polite thing to do, don’t you think?
As I watch them busily feeding,
Or taking a bath, or having a drink.
I have conversations with butterflies,
And daily I have long talks with bees,
And I chat away constantly with the birds,
Who chat back, perched up in their trees.
And, naturally, I talk to my plants,
Encouraging them all to grow,
Because of my plants my visitors visit,
And without them they’d surely all go.
So if you’re passing by Stone Cottage,
See an old man speaking to no one at all,
He’ll just be in conversation with his plants,
Or with the visitors who have come to call.
Is it a lawnmower or is it a bird…….?
In Bedford’s quiet streets
Can often be heard
The whirr, whirr, whirring
Of the lawnmower bird.
A solitary creature,
It moves around on its own,
At the grass that has grown,
Especially after the rain
Has awakened tired roots
And fed them with nutrients
To produce new green shoots.
Never at night
Will you hear this bird stirring,
As it rests in its shelter,
Tired out from its whirring.
And not every day
Does this strange bird appear,
And during the winter
The sightings are rare.
Its plumage favours green,
Although sometimes it’s red,
And black ones are seen,
So I’ve heard it said.
Some leave a smell,
While others trail a cord,
Usually accompanied by a man
Who appears to be bored.
So there you have it,
There’s no more to tell
About the lawnmower birds
That in Bedford do dwell.