Sunday, June 1, 2008



I’m in bed.

The window is open.

Twenty feet from my nose - the topmost branches of a Rambling Rector.

I hold my breathe; not believing every next intake will bring more scent.

But it doesn’t run out. It’s crossing the street. It’s stopping passers by - it’s June - and there’s endless blackbird.

* * * * *

Cluster upon cluster of small, white, yellow-centred, single flowers - densely packed on kraken-length stems.

Half inch thorns.

It’s gone over the arch; over the bushes; over the gate; over the fence into Lucy’s garden.

It’s ripping its way through the shed roof.

But it can’t get me!

* * * * *

I don’t like Roses.

This can’t be a rose.

* * * * *


I was about to re-draw the apple-tree; pastels, paper, paint and brushes spread ready across the table.

Ming and the children set out for a walk.

Peace coming.

Concentration looming.

I’m restless for it.

I stand at the door calling out, ‘Goodbye’. ‘Enjoy your ice-creams!’

* * * * *

Suddenly, I’ve vanished (it must have been funny from the outside) - keeled over sideways, out of sight, onto the stairs.

There’s a slightly uncomprehending pause.

Then they all come back - where have I gone?

They try to drag me out of the way of the door.

My feet and ankles get stuck.

Ming pulls me further up the stairs.

Didcott tries to hold my hand.

It’s a tug of war.

Worthing gets cross.

I can hear.

I can feel.

But I can’t speak. Can’t move.

My eyelids have flopped - along with the rest of me - so I can’t see.

I like to be boss - in charge. So I’m shouting ‘Do this, do that!’ - but they can’t hear - my voice stays in my head; my lips won’t move.

I’m wild with frustration.

* * * * *

Three days in bed; sleeping, dozing, reading, wandering through the internet (with comments).

The family runs round at my bidding, brings me cups of tea, shops, argues, reads to me, brings me treats; meals.

Not bad eh!?

Ming, Didcott, Worthing, The Rambling Rector - luxury!

* * * * *

(Actually, just at this minute, they’re all shouting at each other. I’m not there to tell them to stop!)

(Well, the Rambling Rector’s not shouting. It’s bobbing around happily - outside the window.)

(I’ll concentrate on that.)
_ _ _ _


VP said...

I never thought of the Rambling Rector as recovery therapy. I've just got 3 flowers open on mine at the moment.

Ours is a burglar deterrent!

Esther Montgomery said...

And a very good burglar deterrent it probably is too!

Ours was blown from its moorings in the spring and I had to do emergency pruning and tieing up.

A thorn went into the fleshy bit below my thumb and it was terribly, terribly painful. I felt faint and ill and on the verge of shock.

Had to pack up pruning for the day.

It bruised horribly, inside my hand - virtually no blood.

Other roses - nothing in comparison.

Brambles - I walk around with prickles sticking out of me in the blackberry season - but these!

It's interesting, about yours not being out yet.

It's always fascinated me how accents change from one to another within very few geographic miles.

Same with climate. You aren't that far from us in global terms - but seems your plants are a little behind ours.

Did you visit the sub-tropical gardens at Abbotsbury when you were down our way?


Helen by the Sea in Weymouth, Dorset said...

Sorry you've been unwell, sorry not to have replied about the castor oil plant, VP was quite right. Been to Scotland for half term, missed the garden. Everthing shot up in my absence loads to do. Strawberries large and prolific! But alas still green.

Zoë said...

Glad to hear you are resting and being well looked after, hope you are much better soon.

Do you really not like roses?

Can I be bold and ask why not?

It's hard for me to work out what someone might dislike about them.

Best Wishes,


Brenda Hyde said...

I'm thinking that the apple tree did not want to be redrawn and went to extreme measures to keep you from doing so. Hmmm... I hope you are feeling better now. I love roses normally but have one that is evil and I can't get rid of it. I dig, I cut and the thing just won't die. It was here when we moved in, and isn't pretty or pleasant. It's like some medieval torture device.

Esther Montgomery said...

Zoe - it's rather a sweeping statement, I admit. And I love the photo you have on your blog at present - with the roses in the vase.

But I think I'll save further comments for another post -

(You might even agree with some of my gripes.)

(When I say what they are!)


P.S. (Gosh, I'm accumulating so many things to say - and I'm juggling so many tangents - I think 'Esther in the Garden' is turning into something closer to a jigsaw than a blog!)

Esther Montgomery said...

Thanks Brenda. (And everyone!)

I think, whatever views the Apple Tree has on the matter, it will either have to be re-drawn or have its image replaced.

In the picture, it is still at the stage when blossom was beginning to open. Since then, it has been covered first with blossom (best year it has had yet) - and now with leaves and lots of small apples.

(And lots of other things have grown up beside and around it.)


garden girl said...

Esther, I hope you're feeling better.

I'd never seen a Rambling Rector, so I goggled it. It looks like a beautiful rose. Roses don't do well here because of all the shade. I don't like all roses, and I definitely don't like the thorns. I especially dislike the hybrid teas. My arms are all scratched up from pruning a client's roses last week. The scratches are bad enough, and ouch, they really hurt when they stab.

themanicgardener said...

Missed this one when it was first posted--sorry you were ill, and hope my use of past tense is appropriate. I also hope your account--it's not quite a narrative--of what happened is what it looked like from Venus, because if not, then I really really hope a doctor was involved at some point. Not my business, I know. Be well.

Esther Montgomery said...

Hello 'Manic Gardener' -

This was, indeed, an accurate account of that particular fit.

But a doctor wasn't needed. Don't worry, it happens a lot and we're used to it.

And Zoe - I keep meaning to reply to your question about bruises - it is 'Temporal Lobe' Epilepsy and I go completely floppy, so I rarely get bruises (fortunately).