>I’ve just tidied away the last gardening tools and sat down with a cup of coffee, and now I can hear the rain begin to fall on the roof over the terrace. If that’s not timing, what is?
This weekend my parents came bearing gifts of kolkwitzia amabilis, cottoneaster, agapanthus, globe thistles, (more) goldenrods and an unidentified evergreen shrub with variegated foliage, and then my grandmother – who is 88 and can’t travel with vast numbers of plants came with a small pot of pennywort (Anemone hepatica or Hepatica nobilis, depending on which taxonomists you listen to) from her garden.
However… My parents also brought something that was not a present from them: My wedding present from my husband! Our garden is now equipped with a 5.5 meter sailing vessel:
All right, I know it’s upside-down in the picture, but it’s a kayak. A real, honest-to-God kayak! I’ve known about it since the wedding, but because the kayak used to belong to my older brother it had to be transported over here and that didn’t happen ’till my parents brought it on the roof of their car.
It’s beautiful! Sleek, slender, gracious and absolutely marvelous. And right now the only water it will see for a while is rain, sadly. I still have to buy a pagaj, which is the real term for the double-sided paddle used in a kayak.
I know this is VERY tangential on a gardening blog, but never mind…
I’ve been rowing kayaks since I was 11, but it’s been at least 4 years since I was last in a kayak comparable to this; it’s a proper racing kayak, so balance is gained mainly through speed just like on a bicycle. Most people will be able to go less than 2ft in it before falling over and landing in the water; I’ve tested it with a bunch of rowers who were used to rowing single scullers, and none of them even made it a foot after I let go of the kayak…
What has this, then, to do with the garden? A lot, of course, since location is key to a garden, and given that we’re so close to the fjord that I can pick up the kayak in one hand, the pagaj (once bought) in the other and walk down for a morning outing on the water. Roskilde Fjord is quite narrow, so the water tends to be calm and perfect for this type of kayak. (Were I to take this to Greenland, home of the kayak, I’d be a fool to even go near the sea with it, since it’s only suited for calm waters and only for rowing close to the shore.
Anyway, this is the most beautiful, romantic present anybody has ever given me. He’s given me the calm and quiet of being all by myself out on the fjord, and that really is something. I’ve married well! For more reasons than one.