Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lindsay Road, Leicester

garden as on Google Earth todayIt is rather eerie zooming in on the house where you once lived a long while ago. I suppose that that is what Google Earth is all about.

As you'd expect, so much has changed in those decades, but there are still details there that existed when I was very young - it looks like there's still a privet hedge, a holly tree and a laurel bush in the front garden. But they are the sole survivors of once richer gardens overall.

Of course, childhood memories have things much bigger, sunnier, better than they maybe they were. This garden looks so much smaller than I remember it, then I was so much smaller too!

The great faded grey farmhouse that used to occupy the land beyond the lower left of this Google Earth image has long gone. Even when we lived there it had ceased to function as a real farmhouse as its land had been given over to housing. Though I have very fond memories of the sounds of the turkeys, geese and chickens kept by its owners.

The gardens used to be home to Cox and Bramley apple trees, gooseberry bushes, strawberries, cultivated and feral blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, raspberries, an enormous unclimbable Conference pear tree, and a vegetable patch in which we used to grow radish, beetroot, lettuce, peas, new potatoes, broad beans, runner beans, broccoli, shallots and carrots... And on the basis I cannot remember any chemicals (except for the sticky bands applied to the fruit trees and the soot around the runner beans), this must all have been organic, even though we didn't know what the word meant in those days.
garden as it was around 1960
And there were flowers too. We had stocks, flags, michealmas daisies, lilac, roses, and a selection of white and purple rockery plants. But we also grew summer stocks, asters, gladioli and chrysanthemums.

This second image gives a rather crude impression of what I think things were like in the summer. The centre-right bushes are gooseberries, to their right are raspberries, to their left strawberries. The bushes lower right are blackcurrants, whitecurrants and redcurrants. To their left is the pear tree. Centre left is the Bramley apple tree, next is the Cox's tree. The big brown patch is where we grew our vegetables and cut flowers.

We had far less lawn to maintain back then - it certainly wasn't much of a garden for play. But there is a tell-tale "crop-mark" on the Google Earth image where the old garden path used to be.

Maybe the current owners may wonder at was used to be, literally in their back garden.

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