I hate to have to tell you this, but pleasure is out of fashion.

We’re not supposed, anymore, to enjoy our gardens. They are there for the sake of the planet.  (Which is very backward in showing its appreciation.) And for insects, grubs, creepy crawlies and slugs. And all their friends and relations. 

animal_slug_black copyright Anne Wareham

Gardens are for promoting bio diversity and diversity of all the kinds you can throw a raspberry cane at. They are ecological, so weed if you dare. They are there for your mental health, so if you don’t have any of that (whatever it is) a garden may be wasted on you.

Things do perhaps go in cycles, and we are in a puritanical one right now. We are constantly told what to eat, what not to eat. Does anyone ever eulogise the sheer delight of eating a piece of buttered and marmaladed toast and the joy of being alive to eat it? In the UK shortly no-one under 16 will be able to buy cigarettes (without bribing their elder sister). A terrible thing, smoking, but I seem to remember enjoying it once. 

Portrait copyright Charles Hawes

Sulky piece, wasn’t I?

Do you count your units of alcohol in the States? We must, here in the UK, so as not to exceed our quota, for our health’s sake. Anyone else out there remember the shameful excesses of their youth? They are so not done anymore. The amazing (if rather misogynist) liberation of the 1960s and 70s. I understand that if you’re young, you don’t indulge much in anything anymore. No drink, no fags, no sex, no drugs. Unless it’s social media? (Though, dare I confess that when life gets me down and I’m very stressed I get great pleasure for seeing videos of mad dachshunds on Instagram? Sometimes, horrors, such videos can make me laugh. This will soon be illegal)

dachshund puppy

It’s a funny thing, pleasure.

I’m not even sure I know just what it is. I see the sun shining on trees turning all shades of yellow, copper, orange and who knows what, and something happens to me.

Autumn colour at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

Something subtle and – err – pleasant. A little lift. You could almost not notice it? Though I’m not sure – perhaps it’s pleasure that actually makes us notice things? And that’s what takes some of us out into the garden every day, after our pleasure fix. 

The flowers. 

Campanula lactiflora at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

The light on leaves.  The sudden warmth in the air, meaning spring. The scent of a tiny flower filling the garden.

Sunshine sunning us. And enjoying the garden with the best.

Marianne and Charles copyright Anne Wareham

O – and good food and drink!

Rain after a long drought. Mist on the hills. Sunshine on the hills. 

Veddw Garden view copyright Anne Wareham

And a long nurtured plant producing a flower. Eating a fresh pea as we wander. (o, veggie growing must have some pleasures?) Rain after drought. Grasses in the wind. Hoar frost. Beautiful skies.

Sky at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

Enjoy, as those irritating waiters say, but remember that, whenever possible, they will stop you enjoying these moments of joy.