An English Country Garden
New to the village then, hey ?
Ah, the cottage of old man Beck.
All that garden in the way !
Well, good luck keeping that in check…
Tell you what, let’s take a gander,
Milk and two spoons, lovely, cheers.
Of course, it used to be much grander –
But gone to seed for donkey’s years.
These flowers like potatoes…
Nightshade ? No, it’s bittersweet.
Oh, don’t look so relieved mate –
Those are just as deadly if you eat.
What’s that, you hope to keep some bees ?
I really wouldn’t, were I you –
Cos when they pollinate all these,
It turns their honey deadly too !
Now here’s a fine old holly tree,
Though he could do with quite a trim.
Yes, he’s a he – a male, you see,
You’ll get no berries out of him !
Your buddleia is running free,
In crumbled mortar, rotten sills,
And, yes, between your slates, I see.
Pretty flowers, massive bills !
And stonecrop on your gable-end –
Hanging mid-air, what a champ !
But best to hoick it out, my friend,
For room for roots is room for damp.
I see you’ve last year’s veg galore,
All overgrown and moulted.
Too late to shut the greenhouse door,
Your cabbages have bolted.
Your bindweed bullies ev’rywhere,
Insinuating strangling strands
While its triumphal trumpets blare –
A cheeky chap with wand’ring hands.
A shame about the knotweed, though,
And ragwort too ! And bracken fronds,
And ivy, nettles, thorny sloe,
And duckweed choking off the ponds.
This hemlock – best not touch it, natch –
All snowy-flowered, poison-flecked.
Much like your giant hogweed patch
With last year’s corpses still erect.
Your wild tobacco’s quite a hit,
And morphine poppies look a treat –
Oh don’t sweat guv, they’re quite legit –
Though weed-out all your weed, toot-sweet !
And are those shrooms I see in spawn
Between the death caps ’neath the trees ?
And fairy rings across your lawn,
And stinkhorns flavouring the breeze.
But say, your dandelions roar !
A joy, a golden-yellow sea,
And ev’ry year, there’s more and more –
Old Beck would brew the leaves for tea…
Speaking of which, is there more in the pot ?
Well, can’t stand jawing round here all day.
I’d say you’ve got one hell of a plot,
To keep you busy for many a May.