The Small Gardening Spade

The green grass is bare in patches, shades of brown and grey and hard, compacted, where the strands of thatch refuse to quite stretch and then recede and then reveal a sparse and open area and it seems like the grass will never join up again. Grass will join up but when the soil is hard it needs to be aerated and water added and cared for and care should be shown and felt and even that might not be enough unless it’s done properly. Help is needed and the right kind of help – helpful help – and the patchy but mostly thick and generous and fecund growth on the lawn has dots of dog poo, little nuggets, like punctuation marks positioned with some deliberation, the markers of a conversation in symbols or a communication in the tactile and the physical and sculptural things. The backyard is like a sculpture, a set of sculptures in different materials and textures – leaves and bark and dead leaves on the grass, the height of bushes up against the fence and roses growing along the perimeter of the herb garden, with green thorny fingers, and buds and colour clinging to the ends of the fingers, and trees with canopies overhead, forming rustic domes of leaves above a network of haphazard branches architecturally supporting the whole structure. And there is shadow and light changes and fragrances and noise from the birds and the dogs barking at the birds, and growing things threaten to encroach on the spaces around them – grass and weeds seem to loom over the edge of the path leading to the clothes line and successfully invade the gaps between blocks of concrete, and all is texture and form and shape and all is tactile. And the garden is shaped. The lawn is cut and the edges and trimmed and the trees are pruned. Plants are grown in certain positions or moved to other locations and they are pruned into shape and kept away from other plants or prevented from dominating, as it is about order imposed from above and nothing taking over and everything in its place and when you flick the nuggets of dog poo, with the gardening spade, toward the walls of the garden, away from the garden bench and the lawn, it’s embarrassing when you sling one perfectly over the fence into a backyard next door.

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Published in: on October 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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