February 11th, 2011
Well, this has been a very unusual summer down here in Melbourne. Usually in February with only one more month of summer, gardeners are wondering about how to nurse their gardens along on little or no water. But this year water has been a problem in a very different way. With the little creek down the bottom of the garden growing to be a large and very fast moving river last weekend I find quite a few of my plants down that end of the garden have been drowned or washed away in the torrent of water. But, this morning a little friend was returned – Gimble, my little garden gnome! A neighbour brought him back, a little the worse for wear, and looking a little foolish [the gnome, not the neighbour] Yes, Gimble had been on a grand adventure indeed!
I must say that when I began my gardening adventures, quite a few years ago, I never thought I would become one of those gardeners that allowed gnomes into the garden. A garden is a place for plants and maybe a few, only a few mind, ornaments. But, never gnomes! But, after a year or two of pottering about in the garden, my family began to notice. Nothing was said exactly, but when the phone rang out with no one answering it, they began to look at each other in a knowing way and say, ‘She is probably out in the garden’ When sport activity forms needed to be signed and taken back to school, they began to look for me in the garden first. So much so, that sometimes I would come strolling out from the kitchen to bring in the laundry and find an odd grumpy teen sort of person stomping about down the back, near the creek who on sighting me would yell, ‘What are you doing inside? I have been looking for you all over the backyard!’
Yes, they had all begun to notice and at Christmas they pooled together, dear children that they are, and bought me -a gnome. I was estatic! Perhaps too estatic! Because, the very next Christmas, another gnome was presented! I was overwhelmed! The third Christmas, yes, another gnome and I began to feel …well, my face must have told all because at that very moment every single one of my children looked at each other and laughed! “We were wondering how many gnomes it would take!” they said. So, that is the story of the 3 gnomes in my garden, and yes, I have given in and given them each a gnome name. They live in the back yard and I hope they will never have any more friends although I must say I was quite pleased to see Gimble returned. It was returned by my garden guru, that lovely man who helps out with advice from time to time and often laughs at my attempts in the garden. When he knocked at my door to return the errant gnome I think he had a little bit of a glint in his eye as he handed him over. ‘I am sure you wouln’t want to loose such a handsome gnome!’ he said. ‘I know how very fond you are of them.’ I thanked him very much and went out the back to put Gimble back in his now flattened garden bed. He looked a little bit like he was laughing, but I am sure I was just imagining it!