Sunday, 6 November 2011

Autumnal Atmospheres


Waking strangely early on a Sunday morning, and feeling no ill-effects upon my physical or mental state from last nights tipple, I sit pensively in the dining room and contemplate the garden. In Summer, it is a welcoming place of different vantage points where one can take a different view of what is actually a relatively small space. From the top patio, it is possible to peruse the whole of the tichy garden, to see wriggling frogs in the pond or the mother wren popping in and out of the ivy teaching her young brood, bodies no larger than a 10p piece, to fly with insistent but encouraging ones. In Summer, the garden is a room where one can wander in and out of without a change of clothing.
Suddenly, in the space of a month, it looks a bit sad. Ok, the bamboo retains its verdant foliage and the hawthorn hedge has yet to lose its leaves. But in my laziness, I have yet to clear away the tomato plants which now black and withered, still hold some red fruits, and the birch trees have deposited hundreds of leaves on the lawn almost obscuring the grass in places (which still needs cutting. How strange for November!).

It seems the once comfortable space must now be yielded up to Winter. Soon, it may be underneath a layer of snow and not only will it be a place I do not step into for months, but also something which will not even enter into my consciousness except when occasionally I look through the transparent but isolating barrier of the patio doors with their large panes of insulating double glazing.
And yet, the garden is the same place. It hasn't moved! (Well, technically, on a cosmic scale, it has: To a place further from the Sun, but this is not evident from the placing of the penstemons or the alignment of the clematis.
So, the same place, with different temperatures, different light, different moisture levels, is a different place. Where we sat and drank wine on hot days as late as early October (and it was hot too! 29C on the first weekend), now one would look quite eccentric to sit upon the damp wood of the bench with anything other than a steaming mug of tea and a big coat.

Sometimes, I just can't reconcile standing in the same place and being overpowered by how different it feels in two different seasons.

5 comments:

Librarian said...

For a while now, I've had in my mind that I want to write about the feel of my flat, how different it feels when I am on my own (which is mostly the case) to when I have guests staying the night, and even on weekdays when I work in the living room / home office to week nights and week ends when the lid on the work laptop is shut and the folders and pen and notepad are neatly cleared away in the cabinet next to the desk.
Your post has just reminded me of this long-planned post. Thank you!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello: During the twenty-five years when we gardened, rather seriously, in Herefordshire, we had much the same feeling at the way something essentially so familiar could transform itself so completely within the space of a season. Latterly, rather to the annoyance of our garden visitors who were always seeking 'colour', and who could never see green as such, we came to prefer the garden in the depths of winter when all the structures and bones were made bare.

We are continuing to experience difficulties with Blogger as blogs which we have recently followed, and this is one, only appear sporadically in the Google Reader. If we miss a post, please be assured it is not through lack of interest. We trust that it will sort itself out before too long as, at the moment, we are having to look at you through Genius Loci.

PerlNumquist said...

Well, I personally have a poor grasp of space and colour. I amm more of a movement and form man myself. Indeed, when I used to dressthe children all those eyars ago, my wife used to say "You can't dress them in that! It clashes!" and I would reply bewildered "What do you mean by 'clashes'?"
But whilst I did the donkey work, carrying topsoil etc, under Mrs E's direction, I maintained a sceptical air. But I have to say that she was right in every aspect: In every direction you care to look, at any time of year, there is something of interest to draw the eye and evoke curiosity. Though I think her washing of the trunks of the silver birches is a little obsessive.

PerlNumquist said...

Silly me! I didnt carry topsoil whilst dressing the children, as I appear to be saying above. Dear me no! I meant that whilst I was following instructions when we created the garden, I had my doubts about the overall design.
I really must read my comments in future before I post them.

LUCEWOMAN said...

I have a back yard. It's full if garish coloured toys in spring/summer.
It comes into its own during autumn/winter. A peach bath panel, several redundant appliances, and around 82 plastic pegs I've yet to pick up.
It's a vision.