When I’m in my 70s, if I make that far, I’d like to be as fit, active and seemingly delighted by life as the couple at number 33. They’re forever flitting around in their abundant garden, looking for all the world like a pair of pixies, leaving trails of magic dust (not to mention stray mulch, dandelion roots, and all manner of offcuts) in their wake.
I might be over-romanticising their lives, but that’s what it looks like from where I’m standing. Not to say that their lives are perfectly trouble-free – nobody’s is, really – but you can just tell when people are actually happy with what they’ve got going, and not just putting up a front for their neighbours. These two just emanate wellbeing, and I’m putting it down to how much time they spend in the garden. All that dandelion root tea probably doesn’t hurt, either.
To be fair, my satisfaction in life would probably be at least 10% higher if I had a huge jasmine plant climbing over the arched entrance to my front yard, like they have at number 33. Stepping through that, I imagine, imparts a sense of sanctuary that blocky carports and security gates simply can’t compete with. I just don’t feel like I have time to garden. I barely have time to look after my own biological needs, let alone take care of a garden full of plants.
Maybe that’s just an excuse, though. I could start with just one plant, couldn’t I? One little plant surely wouldn’t be too much hassle. I could finally buy a gymea lily plant; I’ve wanted to grow one of those ever since I was a little kid. I remember my neighbours had some, and I found them scary and beautiful at the same time, and also kind of funny. I was sad every time the flowers went away – it was the whole gamut of emotions, really.
Maybe life can be encapsulated in a garden. Maybe that’s why the couple at number 33 are so full of beans.