The Great Gatsby gardener

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While we were in America we went to visit friends (who we hadn’t seen for years) in a beautiful coastal town just north of Boston called Marblehead. It was wonderful to spend time with them and we had a memorable stay. My lovely friend, who knows I am keen on all things horticultural, kindly arranged for a landscape gardener friend of theirs, Larry, to give us a tour of a few of ‘his’ gardens before dinner one evening. Now, these gardens were attached to houses that one dreams of, the types of houses that I imagined when I read The Great Gatsby – beautiful New England mansions with sweeping lawns overlooking the ocean. Larry was absolutely certain that it was fine for us to look around the gardens as the owners were probably out and, anyway, ‘they wouldn’t mind’. My friend reminded him of the time he’d reassured her it would be absolutely fine to come and have a picnic in a garden he was working on only to have a slightly awkward encounter with owners who arrived home unexpectedly!

Anyway, we parked outside one house but the owners were in and having a party, so we swiftly drove on to another. I had my camera with me and was hoping no one in the vicinity would notice me taking photos and think I was casing the joint… At the next residence, all was quiet so we cautiously followed Larry as he told us of his ideas, showed us his latest planting schemes, talked about views and sight-lines and his client’s wishes. He said ‘we’ a lot, so I think he (understandably) has quite an emotional investment in the gardens he works on. It was a real treat to have this private little tour and the opportunity to have a gawp at places where you could imagine Gatsby-like parties taking place. As we were leaving the final garden, the owners’ car swept into the drive. We said our hasty goodbyes, thanked him profusely and left Larry to do the talking.

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In other news… My eldest’s exam results last week were good enough for him to go through to the sixth form – hurrah 🙂 – so we went shopping today for cool sixth-form clothes. Five hours of shopping… I’ve told my other two that if they need any new kit, we can order it online. Have a lovely rest of the week. x