One of the many things I love about being a self-employed gardener, is that it gives me time to think.
Time to ponder the intricacies of life.....
Earlier this week, I was working alone in one of "my" gardens: the Clients were away, having left me a list of jobs to do, and I was struck by how nice it was, once in a way, to be alone in someone else's garden.
Generally speaking I love the interaction with my various Clients: it's one of the best parts of the job, and many of my Clients have become friends, over the years ("Hi, Katie!" *waves*).
I still drop in for a cuppa with some of them, even though I haven't worked for them for years ("Hallo Margaret! You're looking well!").
In this particular garden, I haven't been there very long, so I'm still learning about the garden - little surprises keep popping up, and new beauties keep revealing themselves.
But it struck me, this week, that it's not until the Client is absent that you get a chance to look all round a garden, because when I am there working, I am working, if you see what I mean.. .there isn't time to stop and look around.
Also, partly, I feel that it's very rude to stand there and rubber-neck, when you have been allowed into someone's private garden, so I tend to work with my head down and my tail up.
Mind you, this has lead to some funny moments: once, I was merrily wheeling the barrow from one side of the house to the other, and as I rounded the corner I realised my Clients were having breakfast on the patio (in their pj's, I should add). It was too late to go the other way round, so I went past as quietly as is possible with a wheelbarrow - not quite tiptoeing, but certainly averting my eyes.
They were highly amused by this, not least because of the Monty Python-esque overtones of the incident ("What are you doing?" "Averting my eyes, my Lord"), but by my humble demeanour. Apparently their previous gardener used to walk into the kitchen and make himself a cup of tea, if he felt like it. (*shocked face*)
Another time, I arrived at one garden, started on the usual weeding etc, and half an hour later the Client came out into the garden and asked me if I could do something as a favour. "Certainly," I chirped, "what do you need done?"
"Could you get your bowsaw, and chop up that tree that's fallen across the lawn?"
I looked round and blow me, there was an entire (small) tree, fallen down across their main lawn. I hadn't even seen it, as I had been concentrating, as always, on the jobs I was planning to do that morning, and hadn't taken a general look around as I walked in, because it always seems rude to do so.
As with many things in life, I guess it's all about finding the right balance between nosiness, and spotting things which need doing: so I'll have to try a little harder not to be so unassuming!