It’s time to do the garden again. I put on the gloves, the shoes.

I feel like a fake gardener, somehow. I planted my sunflower sprouts upside down and they had to do a kind of hula hoop turn to grow their shoots up – like a loop-the-loop fairground ride for insects and young slugs.

We are filling the water butt with grey water from the sink, but today next door’s cat is crouched quietly on the steps. I wait.

I have seen a squirrel once, a flash across the garden. Woodpigeons in the conifer hedge coo aggressively. Magpies do their chuck-chuck at me when I try to do any work. They sit in the tree and shit on the washing.

I thought we were growing wild asparagus but it’s bindweed. They are easy to pluck out but leave their networks of roots which extends under the garden like electricity wiring, ready to crackle out when I’m not there, or when it rains.

The plant that I thought was celery is called lovage and is also edible. It is already up to my knees. I water it out of curiosity.

The huge pile of branches at the side of the garden has grown little spider webs. I wonder if any hedgehogs live there and whether they talk with the spiders, or eat them. My notion of the food web is quite vague, from school. I remember that people tend to be at the top.

There is a line of snails at the top of the patio. They look pretty so I leave them there. Some were empty anyway.

It’s easy to do a day’s work of noticing, in ten minutes. Perhaps because it’s Spring. The wild strawberries are in flower. I can’t wait for their tiny fruits.




Also by Ruth,