19 July 2007


irisesLast night one of our new neighbours offered us some irises that his wife had been dividing. I said 'Yes, please'. Then this afternoon I spent an hour or two clearing weeds and overgrown perenniels to make space in the front garden for them. That made room for twelve, with about 30 small iris plants remaining in the carrier bags, unplanted, and making me feel inadequate and somehow ungrateful.

So I decided to start planting them along the edge of the front garden. As I did so, another set of neighbours spotted me and turned up to introduce themselves. They live in the next property along (number 97 where we are number 59 - the numbering is something to do with building lots which I don't yet understand) and are also British ex-pats, but they moved to Canada in 1965 (Québec originally). They've only lived in this area for 18 months and seemed amazed (jealous, even) that we'd managed to pick this area to settle in - "You've really lucked out" was the phrase used. I think that means moving here is a good thing...

It was interesting that their accents became increasingly English during the hour or so that we talked to them: to begin with I wouldn't have identified them as being originally British. Joan did pronounce tomato as 'tomaydo' towards the end of the conversation, so I wonder how long it'll take me before I do that. At the moment I think 'never', but that might change.

irises under barnyard fenceOnce they'd gone I got on with planting the remaining irises, behind the house this time. The soil under the fence at the front of the barnyard proved to be wonderfully rich, soft and easy to work (courtesy of the cows that used to live there), so in the end I got them all planted and now feel that I've done my neighbourly duty (although the stiff muscles in my back disagree). If the soil in the rest of the barnyard is of the same quality as that stuff then I'll be an extremely happy gardener.

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