The right conditions


I could not be happier.


Little yellow flowers have appeared in my garden.  They’ve positioned themselves beautifully too, nestling at the bottom of a shrubby tree and in amongst a whole load of delicate greenery.  I almost have a woodland scene.

The thing is I didn’t plant them.  I moved to this house four years ago and we are the first human inhabitants of what used to be a barn.

When I moved in…no garden.
Nothing but thigh high weeds and rubble from the building work.
Everything that’s here now, I planted.  And for the past four years…no little yellow flowers in this position.

I’ve heard of guerrilla gardeners who splash random acts of gardening about under cover of darkness in places that sorely need some greenery, but I don’t know of any instances of them striking in private gardens where there are already plants.

So I’m ruling them out.

Someone planted them for me as a surprise, my son maybe?  He’s surprised me before.  It’s unlikely.
He hasn’t got naturally green fingers exactly, not even a green fingernail, but I checked anyway.
No. It wasn’t him.

So that’s ruled out too.

My lovely gentleman friend, who notices things that some are too busy to notice, and knows of things that some may not, told me he’d heard of whole fields of flowers blooming that no-one had seen before.
Like me, people interested in the fields and the mysterious blooms, having ruled out guerrilla gardeners and investigated in a studiously horticultural way, found that the seeds and bulbs had been there all along but that the conditions had never been right, until now, for them to bloom.

How wonderful that that all that beauty has been able to show itself.
And a little bit sad that the potential had lain dormant all that time.

It’s true that I’ve been moving things around in my garden;


The fountain by the seat that gets the evening sun.  I hadn’t remembered that the position          where the sun sets on the horizon moves round and so the seat is rarely in the right place            for watching the sun set.  I moved it.


Several plants, rumoured to like certain conditions, but weren’t happy. I moved them.

Suffice to say, there’s been plenty of deep digging and moving and not much sitting at peace.*

It’s possible the bulbs were there from way back but I’ve been inadvertently moving them, not allowing them to settle, get their bearings and put down roots to get steady and get fed.
Now they’ve had time to settle they’ve come up.  And bloomed.  And I’m very happy that they’re here.

But the reason I love it so much is not because I have some surprise flowers, lovely though they are and I couldn’t ever have arranged them so well myself. It’s because they are such a beautiful visual reminder of what’s possible when the conditions are right and of why I do the work I do.


As with surprise flowers so with clients.

They all have their potential, their reason for being, their own version of

‘find which way is up, make your merry way through this heavy clay soil and chunks of rubble to bloom in all your yellowness for the benefit of the world’


And I get to help ease the way when they’re stuck.  They’re trying everything they know but are stuck and have often tentatively concluded that the job of getting through heavy clay and rubble;

  • is just not do-able
  • is do-able but the price in stress and lack of personal life is higher than they care to pay
  • is more than they are capable of
  • needs more know how than they possess

It’s rarely the case, once we get into it that any of these conclusions are true.
A bit of careful, gentle attention and we find the conditions that would be just right for blooming (this side of four years).

Plus (the bonus for some, but pretty much the whole point in my mind) restore the pleasure to the whole blooming malarkey.

* I’m told that perhaps ‘sit at peace’ as in ‘can’t you sit at peace child’ could be a Scottish utterance from my upbringing requiring explanation for a wider audience.

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