Checklist for an English Summer Garden
Items you can reasonably expect to find in an English Summer Garden:
A well-manicured lawn.
A vegetable patch.
A rose bush.
The occasional burst of glorious sun.
The sound of childish laughter.
A beloved and beautiful family tree.
A pond. With water features!
A swing-set. Or in a more modern garden, a trampoline.
A small pet cemetery, with markers, for popular pets.
A grotesque tree, feared by the children, that all believe is haunted.
At least five fantastic creatures, that only the children, if anyone, ever see.
Recriminations and resentment.
Birds, and squirrels, and somebody else’s cat.
A larger pet cemetery, without markers, for the pets that nobody misses.
At least one buried corpse, no marker, never spoken of in company, never discovered by the law.
A watering can that no longer gets used, and a hose that does.
A garden table and chairs, around which the business of the day and of the family are gone over.
Englishness. Pure, undiluted, and fine.
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