'Every garden needs a wine barrel' may seem a wild generalisation but it certainly seems that our wine barrel has been the catalyst to imagineering our garden!
A few months ago, long before we moved here, Stu decided that the grey stones of the house and the grey stones of the courtyard paving and the grey stones of the gravelled driveway were a little too...well...'grey'. He was inspired to 'green up and soften the place'.
For a man who consistently says he has no imagination, he really does have a knack of 'seeing' possibilities when it comes to a property. Indeed, in an effort to redefine himself, he has taken to calling himself a 'property developer', which isn't too far from the truth: noone needs to know that he is only developing ONE property...
Anyway, Stu's garden inspiration has recently been pulling his attention away from our relationship. In the early morning, he has been sneaking outside to make plans without me, to measure spaces and lay string lines to define borders and claim areas. Later, after I have risen, we hide behind walls, creep around corners and steal each other's gardening tools...It could be said that we have drifted apart in our attempts to define our garden.
Our relationship improved only after we'd positioned the wine barrel. On that day, it had all become clear: we knew what had to be done and what had to go where.
Ever since, we've been out in the stones, dirt and dust of our 'construction site' surroundings, building our garden like a couple of cloned Don Burkes!
This morning, we lingered at the kitchen table reading gardening books and establishing a planting and harvesting calendar.
This afteroon, we were out 'on location'. Stu continued on his stone wall while I moved 12 wheelbarrow loads of bedding sand from our future vege patch to our future reduced driveway.
Meanwhile, our barrel oversees the progress of our garden...and the improvement of our relationship...