I have re-planted our Boody Garden for the summer with Marguerites and Lobelia, partly to match the blue and white china that is in there. In the dialect of 19th century Northumberland, ‘boody’ referred to broken china. I discovered this at Tate Britain couple of years ago when we went to the exhibition of folk art. Now I have a name for my little garden where my favourite broken pottery is saved. There is a beautiful old plate, part of a coffee cup which was the last of a set given to my Mum on her retirement from teaching deaf children at Roskear School in Camborne, a piece of terracotta from a much loved and used bread crock and handles from a beautiful piece of Jane Hamlyn pottery and I just love it, my ‘boody’ garden!
Every time I go to the garden shed I mean to take a photo of this beautiful door plate which was recovered from a house we lived in as children. It pleases me every time I open the shed door!
This afternoon, while clearing some of the weeds from the front garden I was stung by nettles and it reminded me of a Vernon Scannell poem. Just imagine his rage that his three year old has been hurt so much and picture him slashing and burning – and then thinking about the hurts that his child will feel as he grows up but there will be nothing that the poet will be able to do to help……….
My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
‘Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.
by Vernon Scannell