Laying on a blanket, on the front lawn at Montacute House writing this. A warm sun, a cool breeze rustling the leaves of the huge Spanish Chestnut affording us some shade. I can smell the glass of homemade Elderberry wine by my side. The grass is cool to the touch, and I am wishing amongst other things that I could be the one to trim the wobbly hedge, if only once.
As gardeners, we all work so hard to try and create something that is peaceful and beautiful, and yet are very rarely seen 'doing' our job. It's almost as though the gardens just wait quietly for us to join them in their growing, for us to then be once again on our way, until next time.
We gardeners come and go, leaving our temporary mark on our gardens, and hopefully on their owners hearts in some way, and yet we are not immortalised in portraits hanging on the walls of great halls. The gardens slowly change over the years, sometimes growing more, sometimes less, but ever changing over time, and yet the labour of the gardener stays constant and true. If gardening is in your heart, then there can be no other job during your entire life, it is a vocation, a duty that we have been given to fulfil. The work of the true gardener, who works for the love of what he/she does, will leave it's mark in the air of a beautiful garden, to be sensed by others who visit, sometimes two or three hundred years later, and if they are even luckier, take up the baton in a particular garden.
I now sit here, on the lawn at Montacute House, sipping my Elderberry wine. A humble gardener who doesn't have to doff his cap when the master or lady of the house pass by. The once rich and wealthy owners of estates such as Montacute were trustees of our lives, families and homes. How things have changed. We are now trustees of these huge estates ourselves, with some even being tenanted by the wealthy owners themselves. Maybe one day, it will be us gardeners who have people doff their caps to us in another three hundred years? Now there's a thought. I sincerely hope not, as that would put us into the limelight far too much. We must continues our toils in the background.
I have now finished my Elderberry wine. I wonder what Sir Edward Phelips would have said back in 1600, if he saw a gardener sipping wine on his lawn? I had better pick up my empty glass before his ghost sees me, as I wouldn't want to offend.