Sunday, June 27, 2010

Streetwalking For Profit and Pulchritude (an update)

Today was a beautiful day for strolling along the lakefront with my town map and highlighter pen. Imagine my excitement when I found a folded piece of purple currency with a likeness of the Queen on it. I picked it up and gingerly unravelled it barely believing what I had in my hand. I can now finally report that I have made $10 streetwalking.

I also learned something today. When I was young, I remember singing a song at school and not having much of a clue what it meant. It contained strange words, a few of which I recognized as flowers. The word "garden" was about my only clue. It went something like this.

"How many kinds of sweet flowers grow in an English country garden?
I'll tell you know of some that I know and those I miss you'll surely pardon.
Daffodils, hearts ease and phlox, meadowsweet and lady smocks,
Gentian, lupin and tall hollyhocks, roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget me nots,
In an English country garden."

By definition, an English country garden is "a style of garden (made popular in the 18th century) involving statues, water features, lush greenery and a mixture of colourful flowers".

I believe that during my walk today, I spotted a real English country garden. It was in the front of a house near the beach and could only be described as a mansion. The entire front yard was heavily planted in contained, controlled segments. Hidden amongst the greenery were low ornamental statues. There were some mature trees and a gazebo. Just gorgeous.

I have also seen many attempts at something similar in front of smaller houses around town. Amazing how many people here seem to enjoy this type of yard. I don't recall seeing these anywhere that I've lived in the past...tall weeds and tacky lawn ornaments yes, a front yard covered in plantings, no. Most yards of this "country garden" ilk have a random assortment of perennials where many of their neighbours prefer to see grass. I'm not certain that these qualify in terms of the official definition, but it sure saves on mowing.

"There is joy in the spring when the birds begin to sing,
In an English country garden".

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