Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside: our January garden. January 23rd, 2011

January Garden

I never tire of our garden.

All the years we lived in Hanoi I dreamt of living in a house with a large tropical garden. The dream included huge banana leaves and wild orchids. I wanted a jungle.

It has to be said that this garden was planned. Badly planned, but planned. Whoever planted it thirty years ago had no idea of what was to come. The hideous row of yucca in front of the veranda has simply got to go.

Other than that, I am in heaven every time I come home. The large laneway is bordered by vegetation. Cacti, palms, trees I don’t even know the names of, flowers…

In the back of the house Marie-Do has started a vegetable patch and planted tomato seeds and parsley with the children.

When the neighbours are playing traditional Lao music, or no music at all and we can hear the bird song and the gentle clinking of pétanque balls from a game in progress down the dirt road (see the entry on Pétanque…), I go and sit in the sala and wonder at the beauty of it all.

Chickens run wild on the dirt road and every now and then they come in under the gate looking for food. A rooster crows under a perfect blue sky. Saturday morning on the 22nd of January and not a tremor of wind.

We know the summer is coming: everybody tells us so, and that in a month and a half the heat will be so stifling we won’t be able to breath. In the mean time, it is a pleasure reading the weather reports from Canada!

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