The Waterford resident Mary Wight writes a reflection on her favourite place, the roof-top garden.
It is a small place now, my garden.
When I toured The Waterford and saw the rooftop patio with large containers filled with flowers, I was convinced that the decision to move would lessen the heartache I felt at leaving a large ‘one of everything’ established garden overlooking the sea at Ocean Park. I could enjoy making a new garden here.
Planting time arrived, and I volunteered to be responsible for a tub or two. It was good to feel the cool dark soil. Flats of plants arrived. New infant seedlings were to be given a new home with a nourishing start.
“Puddle them in!” Once again I heard my mother’s insistent voice with the same direction she gave me as a nouveau gardener many years ago. A small scoop of earth is removed, the resulting hole filled with water. The tiny plant, loosened of any confining roots is gently placed and snugged in firmly.
In this way, the growing season begins each year. I delight in the pleasure it gives me. Each day I find a reason to visit this place I love. As winter disappears and spring progresses, I search for the tiny spears of bulbs, planted the previous autumn, now poking through the soil. Slowly they grow in the warmth of sunny days.
Summer arrives with a burst of flowers and foliage in crayon colours. It is show off time! Residents come to look and see. They are generous in their admiration and delight.
It is also relaxation time. A time to enjoy the fruits of my labour. A time to sit in the shade of a wide umbrella. To laugh and chat with friends and on some days to share a Happy Hour, or enjoy a good read. Perhaps to be still, and bless the sound of silence and marvel at the busyness of bugs and bees in my garden.
Gradually summer fades and the season slowly slips into autumn. I fancy that flowers understand that their time is running out for I believe they now show an increased intensity of colour—brighter reds, vibrant oranges, deeper yellows. I shall miss them during the cold dark days ahead, and they reward me with this last display of magic.
A cold wind blows as I tidy the planters. I heard the honking sounds of geese. As my eyes are drawn skyward, I see them following their leader in perfect formation. To the east, ominous grey clouds are bullying their way across the blue sky.
Rain begins, intensifies. It must mark the beginning of the year’s final season. I gather my tools, close the patio door and seek the warmth of my apartment as water splatters against the windows. Not to worry. I hear Percy Blythe Shelley’s words, “when winter comes can spring be far behind?”
Yes, I love my small garden.