The dark ages

I live in a turn of the century, the 2oth century that is, terraced house. Its very typical with single rooms from front to back which means in the winter, the middle room downstairs is dark, moreso because of the conservatory that was built outside the dining room and kitchen windows. Nice to have a little utility area after the small kitchen offers little cupboard space but it does cut a fair bit of light,  I do love the dining room though, it reminds me of a miniture castle hall with all its recycled wood and huge, renovated original fire place. We even bought a small crystal chandelier type lampshade because it goes with the room. In the winter I moan about the darkness, we use all eco friendly light bulbs which don’t always give enough light for my needs so I complain, and then there is the electric bill… it goes on.

Summer sees the house much brighter and of course there is access to the garden now the weather is good. Take in a few rays of vitamin D, good for health and the spirit. A little while ago I wrote about my moon gardening and well it all seems to have paid off. Like the house the garden is long and thin, the people who lived here before landscaped the garden so beautifully, with a large pond complete with breeding fish, and a smaller overflow that I have turned into a water feature, a shed, two side beds a patio area with washing line and a huge BBQ. Circular paving stones provide a place to sit too and everywhere else has peashingle and stepping stone paths. It looked really lovely and is, well was, low maintenance. I say looked because as previously mentioned we decided to grow vegetable in containers, mainly because of the lack of actual growing area. So I watched the moon phases and planted. I waited and waited and they all  began to grow, and grow and GROW. The triffid had an enormous flower that is now growing fruit/seed pods the weight of which makes it lean over the main path. Potatoes, having survived daughter’s watering , or lack of it, during our holiday, are nearly as tall as me. runner beans too high to reach, tomatoes, kohl rabi and beetroot with huge strong foliage and baby fruit developing nicely. Trouble was I never realised just how big it would all get. The patio area has now been reduced to a tiny square with barely enough room to put up the washing line as courgettes and butternut squash plants spread bigger and bigger, the path has disappeared beneath flowers and plants that are fighting for space and I thought there was plenty of room, but, it is wonderful. In this tiny town garden I can escape into a totally different world of green. No birds unfortunately, unless you count seagulls, crows and starlings but I do get a lovely selection of butterflies and moths, Oh and spiders.. I have the most diverse collection of different species you could ever imagine… When we first moved here there were garden spiders, big and fat, so big I could see them easily from the kitchen door as they strung across the paths at the other end of the garden… Ugh. not my favourite creature, especially as I know we have the false widows out there, the most scary ones. Others are bright flourescent green, brown, black, black and white, so many different shapes and sizes. It’s like walking down a garden of horror as webs wrap around your face and you come eyeball to eyeballs with some arachnid or another… yuk.

Today has been so hot and with weather reports of even hotter weather over the week and I am melting, even the greenery in the garden, cool as it is, fails to keep the heat of the day off me. Even if I brave the spiders, stick in hand to wave before me as protection, it isn’t long until I surrender and go into my dark little house. It is then she comes into her own. The house I mean, where the light doesn’t get in, neither does the heat and I can enjoy the luxury of a cool room while everywhere else is sweltering. Harry comes in from work and sighs, ‘it’s so cool in here.’ Supper is eaten in comfort and we spend most of the evening in the dining room where it is its coolest. Ok so it’s cold in the winter but for now, I shall not complain about our dark little terraced house, well not at least till the garden is bare and empty and the winter days make her cold and dingy again.

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