I always looking forward to doing some good old fashioned gardening in my twilight years. For so many years, I slaved away in the office fantasising about planting a garden full of different daffodil varieties, drawing a pension, and complaining about my bunions. Every time they brought in the latest iteration of a computer, which I would then have to learn, I would calm my frustration by thinking about the tranquility of planting flowers which lay in my future.
At first my garden was forty years away. Then thirty, then twenty, then ten, and here it is. Except it is just not what I wanted. My garden is awful. I blame the children. They talked me into moving into this flat, which has the smallest garden I have ever seen in my life, and we all know I have been alive for an awfully long time.
I would not even call it a garden. It’s more of a litter box for neighbourhood cats. I can plant maybe five little bulbs in there before it becomes too crowded and everything dies from a lack of nutrients.
Despite the reality not living up to the fantasy, I decided to make the best of it. Plus, it would be good for guilting the children. I could tell them how many hyacinths would fit in all the gardens of all the other houses I have ever lived in, and then tell them that “it’s fine” that I can only plant a piddly five hyacinths. Four decades of marriage means I am very good at this passive aggression thing. Kids these days think they invented passive aggression, but I have been doing it since before they could even talk.
For the upcoming spring season, I have ordered four hyacinth bulbs. Four will look sadder than five, I think.