28th August 2013
The garden at Pogles is a pretty amazing place. In fact, most of Pogles is a a garden really. There's one out the front, where Stu and I used to play 'Transit', which is basically catch whilst moving and saying "Transit, transit", and in front of that garden there are trees that Jen and I played in. We had a certain tree that was our office, I remember a knot in it had a hole, and that was an inkwell. Further along was our flat, an area for parking cars was the petrol station, and a gap where we used to throw raked leaves was the garage. I loved playing there.
There's a small garden to one side of the house, that was my little garden when I was younger. It used to have a fence made of incredibly splintery wood, with a section that you lifted in and out. It was very stiff, so I couldn't do it, even when I was a bit older. I soon mastered climbing over it though. This used to be the garden we used for paddling pools (or wasps graveyards) in the summer. The other side there's another little one, with the washing line and an apple tree. From there you go up some steps and walk along a path of old shells...I remember hours spent looking for two still stuck together. There's a greenhouse on the right, with the wonderful earthy greenhouse smell. For years we still had big pieces of broken glass in a trough in front of it, remains of the old greenhouse destroyed by the hurricane.
Next to the greenhouse there's a tree, one with an enormous branch coming out of it fairly low down, and loads of twigs used to grow from a bend in that. This tree was alternately my horse or a time machine, with all the twigs being my levers and buttons. Sometimes, I'll grant you, it was a spaceship. There's another little garden next to that, but that's so steep I didn't play on it too much, but I do remember lying in it smelling the flowers that grew there - ones I've never seen anywhere else, but they have the most distinct smell. There's a path at the top of that garden, it used to have a bench that was always broken in my memory. It was from here that I was throwing snowballs at Jen's window with Stu to get her to come outside, when one of Stu's had a particularly forceful impact and broke the window. Him frozen in the position he'd let go of the snowball in is a memory I shall cherish forever.
Up some more steps, the ones the kids are drawing chalk on a few posts back, and we get to the garden we'd play in most, called the Top Garden. This used to have my Wendy house, but now has the Heidi House, a summer house. I had to use the word house a lot there didn't I? I tried to think of a way round it, but it was part of too many names. Apologies.
I remember having big family barbecues up in the Top Garden, I have in my head the image of my Grandad lounging in a chair and the taste of lettuce is right there next to it. We used to sledge down the two banks in snow, hoping to avoid a tree and not shoot out over the wall.
At the top of the bank the garden becomes woods, an adventure waiting to happen. Joel's always keen on going into the woods, so today we took a short jaunt. He'd have liked longer, but unfortunately chose ten minutes before they were being collected to present the idea. I promised we'd go back today, but I have been spurned for the company of a friend instead. They're up there as I type, coming back intermittently with stories of being chased by foxes or finding a cat that he thinks may be our long lost pet, Potter.