I was happily weeding and watering the pots in our church cottage garden when I was confronted by the ugly bare patch.
But sure enough, as I turned to water one of my lovingly planted containers, all that remained was a dark, oval stain where once had stood a cheery, coral-sprayed cauldron, filled with miniature fir trees.
Whilst Teddington Methodist Church and Community Centre is, we like to think, a lovely community of people, the church itself is perforce, an unlovely conglomeration of buildings, bravely erected, and then extended, following the World War II bomb blast that razed the former more imposing edifice.
We are however, blessed with delightful surroundings; our main garden, with pleasant seating, well treed and shrubbed, looking out onto a leafy oasis, ‘The Green’, and our flowery cottage garden facing Teddington Memorial Hospital, offering a warm welcome at the Hampton Road approach.
It was earlier in the year, when all gardens are at their drabbest, that I decided, on impulse, to inject some additional splashes of colour.
Armed with an array of spray paints, a couple of ancient metal cauldrons, (I like to think they were witches’ cast offs!) a broken old garden spade and a battered watering can, I went to work creating objects of interest and impact, if not beauty, to brighten up the wintry scene.
The newly painted ‘pots’ were duly planted and positioned – together with the sky blue spade, just for fun – and provided many months of commentary from friendly passers-by and folk at the bus stop.
‘Really something!’ one person said.
But now, sadly, one was missing.
Some weeks later . . . yes, you’ve guessed it, again I was watering the pots and again, ‘there it was gone!’, this time, my treasured, delicate pink watering can, gone without a trace.
Now just the lone, lemon painted cauldron pot remained, oh, and the blue garden spade, but nobody would want that.
The time had come, so I brought down my gardening hod and carefully transported my last remaining flowering pot to home and safety.
Now alas, of my fantasy planters there remains nothing.
Never fear, they had their hour and leave behind a tale to tell.
Can you solve the mystery?
Church Cottage Garden Blues
where have my flower pots gone,
sprayed pretty and bright?
Can’t quite believe they’ve gone;
coral pink cauld-er-on,
Deep coral cauldron
gone from our sight.
petal pink watering can,
planted just right.
Sadly missed water can!
What is its plight?
Yellow surviving one.
Give up the fight?
Vulnerable, lonely one.
Goes home tonight!
J B L