perhaps forbidden (15/4/22)


I don’t want to be rich, I just don’t want to be poor . . . . .


there’s a woodpigeon’s nest within 20 feet of my patio doors, hidden in a thicket of ivy, which is a thicket because it is thick, thick with ivy, although in actual fact the rest of the garden is just one huge thicket, ivy and bramble most definitely playing a leading role, and will be joined soon enough by alexanders and ground elder… there’s lots of other stuff but admittedly, those are the first things you’re most likely to notice, oh yes, and the almost utter inaccessibility of the garden by anything that doesn’t have wings, there are trees too, and some bushes, bushes not bramble or ivy, even some flowers braving the occasional gap, lots of deadwood, please stop me if I’m getting too technical, there’ll be nettles soon, mostly of the stinging kind, as for grass, forget it, there’s some but really not even the tenacity of many grasses have a hope in hell here, not that I’m bothered about that, I like some of the less common grasses but the sort you see largely in well-tended lawns are not for me, anyway, there’s no chance of that here, hence, that’s one less task I have to worry about, mowing… the garden’s packed with birds, but then it would be, no human has set foot into its darkest reaches for a couple or so years now, not even my big feet, and I do have quite large feet actually, though I think the right is slightly bigger than the left… nothing like a spot of asymmetry to blame everything on… I could say that I have left the garden to do what it wants on purpose, for research, a horticultural experiment, but the truth is probably closer to apathy, such as it is not even lockdown got me tackling its shambles, nope, I just sat and watched it do what it wants, and it has, done what it wants… it’s a riot!… I used to tend it a lot, paths, borders, sort of, nothing formal though, pruning, training, harvesting, building natural structures, but not now, the neglect crept up on it, and me and as time went on, as it does, it’s become less a ‘hidden’ garden and more a ‘forgotten’ one, or perhaps ‘forbidden’… still, the woodpigeons seem to like it……

© 2022 robert greig


  1. Sounds like my kind of garden! Just call it a “natural” garden haha. Stinging nettles are medicinal, of course, but no fun to get during the non-gathering times. Maybe the wood pigeons like that sort of thing??

    As for being poor. I am poor. I used to have money but found it didn’t make me happy. Actually the opposite. Now I am “poor on purpose”. As a minimalist, it suits me nicely, I appreciate what I DO have much more, and I’m quite content… to each his own though. This is simply what works for me.

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  2. We had ‘lawns’ when we moved in here, but on a closer look, the green of it was mostly moss. Over the last few years, I have gardened, but with the intention of getting it to a stage where it looks like I don’t… and as with you, the local wildlife is happier with it too I think.

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