Poignant goals of the plot from afar | Gardening recommendation


ON Year of almost uninterrupted exile. A relationship broke like time. My fourth month away for weeks – challenged by other commitments. A year of illness, too close to home: Henry’s mother is fighting a litany of illnesses. We are here now to help where we can.

Gardening was my cure; The place I turn to when words, memories and worlds overwhelm. There, alone, growing between food and flowers, I hear silent songs of peace. A non-verbal internal conversation. My silent mantra of care.

In act 29, I’m prone to fear and lie down to rest the garish ghosts of my life. I calm the scared child. I take care of seedlings, helpless as before. And now there is another person who is dear to me, family who needs love and company.

I hope the plot will wait patiently – although I understand there is a price to be paid. You see, I think country likes consistency, reacts to reliability. It’s a trusting relationship – that I’ll be there when the Blackfly, Whitefly, and Greenfly attack; the hungry pigeons, snails and slugs that lie in wait. I will return to turn the ground for food and water. I’ll let light in, play my part in his life.

For the time being, this year’s seeds will be bought, which will contain the colors and flavors of summer. Spring is calling. A time of growth and gathering. The time of the promise.

The frogs of the ponds will stir, the birds will mate, the Treviso chicory will color. The local herb fennel will shoot. The act will wait, impatient when I return.

Until then, Howard and Rose will be checking in and making regular visits. I will be at home here. Limited, but trays will soon sprout with the first root trainer. I’m going to scan Howard’s ornate Instagram feed (@idleriver). The light will rise, the garden year will turn. I’ll be going back to act 29 soon.

Allan Jenkins’ Lot 29 (4th Stand, £ 9.99) is available now. Order it for £ 8.49 at guardianbookshop.com