Gardening: my second favourite love. Behind good wine and writing.

Gardening. The birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees. This is what big girls play with. Or me, anyway.

I might have lived an earlier life in an English cottage, not far from the moors of Bronte’s stories. My English cottage has astilbes in the damp, globe thistles and Russian sage in the sun, goatsbeard and sea holly lining the picket fence of my kitchen garden. All welcome homes for the bees, and welcoming me each morning as I meander gravel paths with a great big cup of coffee.

I’d have a window box of flowing clematis, leading to the boxwood potter’s gardens, borrowed from the French. I’d intersperse the pretty with the edible. Tiny purple chive flowers bloom next to the mound of oregano and lavender.

I’d have enough yellow rudbekia to complement the blue hydrangea puffs, a smattering of queen anne’s lace and overgrown parsley to fill the vases of my garden bouquets.

There’d be at least one spiky yellow forsythia and a sprinkling of tulip bulbs, maybe some delicate snowdrops, as a signal each year that spring was just a couple weeks away.

Violas would self-seed and big patches of rhubarb would grab for the sky reminding that summer is around the corner.

A hammock between two trees would wait for me between plantings and waterings. A good book and a glass of the kids’ homemade lemonade to while away the afternoon.

In the meantime, I own a few acres of rocky shoreline — on a glassy blue green lake with a backdrop of mountains. There’s a house being built at the end of the winding road leading to it — the garden is yet a figment of my imagination. Until then, our heap of rock will be our lone garden decoration.

In time, it will all come.

It will be a few years’ journey of painting on my outdoor palette.