My new garden is so alive this morning. Dawn has barely broken, it’s been raining all night and the windless blanket of grey sky could mean it won’t stop for some time. Thankfully I cut the grass yesterday and I can almost feel it teasing me as I watch it, sprouting yet again, from the sala. Although the still and damp air is cool I seldom feel the need for any clothing other than shorts or a sarong for modesty. I’ve nothing to hide really but we are different from the other animals and I don’t want splinters in my bum from a rough garden bench.
A whinchat, with his tufted crest, makes a pit stop to refuel; snaffling a mosquito who naively considered she was safe tucked in a new stem of bananas.
A few sparrows dart around the Kapow bushes like sparrows do and a couple of very noisy ‘silly buggers’ hop across the freshly mown lawn like Jack Russells on two legs. I call them ‘silly buggers’ because they are very mischievous Common Mynas who behave like silly buggers; a lot more attractively coloured though. I am surprised, although I shouldn’t be, with the cool rain and warm air even at this early hour. How quickly the lemon grass I cut back has soared; in three months spurting up and over like a waterfall from near ground level to one and a half metres. In fact everything I cut back or transplanted has raced skywards. I can almost watch the bamboo grow. The fastest growing plant in the world, it can put on one hundred centimetres in a day. No wonder, then, that the minute I finish cutting the hedged bamboo I am preparing to go back to the other end and start again. A pair of, what loosely resemble, miniature pheasants have built a nest in the top of one of the Lam-Yai trees. They are Coucals and I don’t see that many of them so I am very happy that they want to stay with me. And there is my small family of ‘Fan-tail zebra’ birds (Oriental Magpie-Robins) who just love to play and shower when I water the garden but are notably absent when it rains, as only it can in the tropics; like stair rods. Maybe they like the water but the rain hurts too much. And see, the seven young coconut trees, I planted at Christmas, are starting to flourish; they just suck up water like a sponge; so much it really shows. The gaps between the plants are closing daily now; in a few months it will be a new garden no longer as the ugly block wall and the wire fence will be invisible, like the hills this morning. But they will be back soon, like the sun, never away for long.