But she said I was welcome. Welcome. Welcome she said.
And here are all my old plants like old friends, crying out for some care – a bit of weeding and a lot of pruning. Some will have died, I suppose. Winters will have taken their toll. I wonder about the smoke bush I had planted around the back. It has probably run rampant by now. It will have crowded out the hebes and probably no-one can even see out the kitchen window because it will have grown too thick.
I look across the garden thinking of the other little trees I planted, they are big trees now. The Alberta spruce is as tall as I am, the katsura is higher than the house. Weren’t they both supposed to stay small?
I pull ahead a little way so I can see where I planted most of the roses. They’re huge! The canes are flopping everywhere. They’re blooming like crazy but they will need some serious pruning in a couple of months.
I’m surprised that Warm Welcome is still growing - it needs to be trained to curve elegantly around the door rather than reaching growth out in all directions. Someone should prune it – someone who knows what they’re doing. Pruning is a bit like surgery, you need to know precisely where and how to make the incision. I wonder if the grandma knows how to prune roses but no, the little girl said she didn’t. I think she is the kind of woman who would have done it by now if she knew how to do it and do it right.
I wonder if my old tools are still in the shed. They’ll all be rusted and dull by now, even if they are still there. And if the shed is still standing.
The lack of tools might be another reason why the grandma hasn’t gardened. I could go look and perhaps try them out, see if they still work properly. If not I could buy new ones. Come to think of it I ought to buy new ones if they are necessary. It would help to keep the place in good shape.
If I checked out the shed and the tools I wouldn’t need to go in the house. I would stay outside. Not today, of course. I wouldn’t go there again today. Maybe next week. That garden needs tending.
I had the courage to walk up the path to the house that one time. I can do it again – she said I was welcome. I don’t have to stay long in the garden the first time, maybe half an hour. I would just take time to check out what needs to be done and if there were tools to do it. I am the landlord, after all.
If I was to get into the pruning it would take a while, days, maybe even weeks. If I was to work at it I might need to bring a lunch. Maybe the little girl could share it one day if she got to know me. Maybe I could talk to her, find out her name. And maybe the grandma’s name too. I wouldn’t have to go into the house.
Unless I wanted to.