28th May 2017

I have been working in the garden today, digging a new border in which I will plant climbing plants: honeysuckle, jasmine, grape vines. The border runs alongside the rabbit run, what will be our ‘secret garden’ hidden behind the shed once the bushes I’ve planted are grown. The work is hard. Running beneath the ground is a network of thick roots from the eucalyptus tree, they run along everywhere almost immediately beneath the grassy surface, and deeper I imagine. The spade cuts into the earth and stops, and you know you have hit another root and a certain degree of force will be needed to dislodge it. I dig and sweat and dig some more. Gradually the earth is revealed and with it various worms and grubs, unhappy to be disturbed. A bee lands on the fence, a honeybee I believe though I’m not really too sure. It is small and it has a little patch of orangey fuzz on its back, almost an afterthought, and I watch it for a moment and then dig on. I get stuck on mossy patches and then more roots, and then a patch of grass that was once a border which I’ve allowed, through indifference and laziness, to grow wild. Here, as I tear the clinging grass away, I uncover a colony of snails. They are gathered around the base of the buddleia bush and they are all different sizes and range in colour from earthy brown to green. I tear the grass more carefully here so as not to disturb them. Here too I reveal a new kind of beetle, at least that’s what I’ve decided it is. It is tawny in colour, almost the colour of Lucozade but deeper than that, and it has an elongated body which has a brazen sheen to it. I watch it walk up the back of the fence and I think about the treasury of riches I have uncovered here, just digging sweatily in the garden for an hour in the early evening.

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