Whenever I'm over at the hospital, I try and drop in and see G. Time was, more of us lived up this end of town, and we'd see each other a bit more regularly. Now I normally see G when something has gone wrong. But I don't talk about that, I talk about her garden.
Her garden is smaller than mine, and the soils is rather lighter, being further from the river, but it is also terraced, contains far too many pots and has lots of cuttings and seedlings in various states of growing on about the place. Usually I come away with a pile of random pots and seedlings, but at the moment everything's marked off for a community garden she's accidentally got involved with, and anyway I'm on foot and exhausted.
Beyond the chaos of pretty pots full of fancy plants that is her patio, the garden is all neat mounds of colourful perennials and smart shrubs. A small pond; well placed miniature trees, mysterious plants she got from (mumble) all cut through with a smart winding gravelled path which (in the way of these things) is endlessly being invaded by something or other. She's a pincher - dead leaves, spent blossoms, inappropriate shoots all get pinched off and tidied away. It's a world away from my sprawling backyard jungle. Around it all a sharp hedge makes a tidy frame, and there's a bird table where a young robin comes down to bully her for mealworms. Around her doors, pots cluster like they want to get in and join the multifarious houseplants.
So she has a tree in the wrong place that needs some discussion, and I need to ask her about my water planters, because I think there's a problem. We have tea, and my clouds lift.