Guest blogger: The Garden Monkey

From my first guest blogger, The Garden Monkey, blogger of both The Garden Monkey and The Garden Monkey's Book Flange- (I check in on both of those every day!)

Take it away Garden Monkey!

As gardeners we are, I hope, more attuned than most to the rhythms and cycles of life.

Nevertheless, a perhaps longer cycle than the turning of the seasons may creep up on us unawares.

As a child my grandfather's garden was a place of wonder and delight for my siblings and I.

It had many winding paths and all manner of little concrete ornaments dotted around the place .

When the old man passed away, the first thing my sister did was go round the garden collecting the frog, the blackbird, the brown bird etc., determined to have some tangible part from her childhood before that small, but constant, part of it was sold off to strangers.

As it turned out the garden is now mine and once again a source of wonder and delight for children. And despite my best efforts to hold them at bay some garden ornaments have crept back in, under a variety of excuses.

They include a resin toad, who is slightly lifelike and has fooled a few people with bad eyesight, a small amorphous cat, who is so ill-defined that he could easily be a slug, and not least of all Montezuma, a rather large and somewhat quizzical armadillo.

I do however draw a very thick line at gnomes and sometimes wonder whether my grandfather felt the same, and herein lies a tale.

Over time, I have re-jigged my grandfather’s garden somewhat - there is no room for sentimentally with that sort of thing - although his presence remains with me, in soil that after 35 years of soil improvement grows plants like magic.

As part of this reconfiguration, I had broken up some concrete and was throwing the pieces into a barrow. As it crashed on top of the others one lump broke still further, revealing a gnome entombed inside, like some Jurassic fossil.

I like to think that my grandfather shared my attitude to them, and took the opportunity to dispose of the gnome.

But there may be a more innocent explanation - that the gnome was broken and the old chap, being thrifty, just saw it as a piece of rubble that would make the concrete go further.

But my childhood self would probably have guessed that the little fellow had broken the omerta of the Gnome Mafia and had been given a concrete overcoat by the Cosa Gnomsta in retribution.

This maybe why some gnomes have fishing rods - to remind them that they may end up "Sleeping with the fishes."