Every morning I take my old doggie out into the garden first thing, still in my dressing gown, sometimes stopping to admire a rose or a geum, checking my herbs or opening the cold frame.
When I saw the title of this collection of humorous poems I had to take a closer look. And when I took a closer look I had to buy the book!
“Outside in My Dressing Gown”
by Liz Cowley
Liz Cowley has succeeded in touching on so many funny sides of gardening life – what the neighbours think, the frustration of the crowds at the Chelsea Flower Show, snails and slugs, the weather, being tempted at the garden centre, weeds…. There is at least one poem in here for everyone to associate a personal experience with. One that stands out for me is her poem “Ground elder”, a weed I posted about recently. Here’s an excerpt:
Spaghetti roots are everywhere.
You dig them up and bitterly.
You know you’ve got enough out there
to cover half of Italy.
Spaghetti roots – impossible –
and most of them you can’t remove.
So if ground elder’s in your place,
There’s only one solution. Move!
This collection is such fun! With simple verse the writer can sum up precisely how a gardener thinks. I open a few pages every day and find myself smiling and nodding. She understands gardeners so well! In “Here at last” she expresses how the buds of spring can suddenly uplift your spirits. In “Are you named after a flower?” she lists some beautiful names/plants but suggests vegetable names should also be used… fancy being called Maris Piper?! In “Antirrhinums” she has a conversation with a flower. And in “I know I’m not a rarity” she writes:
I know that there are many thousands
of dressing gowners just like me,
outside, and dibbing, snipping, brushing –
I know I’m not a rarity.
The poems are divided into seasons, which is a nice touch. There are a few poignant lines in some of her poems too. This one caught my eye:
Plants can plant a love within you
that sometimes lasts you all life long….
Very true, don’t you think.
To sum up: ideal for gardeners who want a little giggle, some thoughtful moments and a few smiles.