Grandma’s garden.

Last night I dreamed I was back at my grandparents’ house – and that so were they, even though they are dead and sold the place a couple of years before they died. I blame this horrible sore throat thing that lasts for days on bringing the strange dreams, as I struggle to regulate my temperature, freezing or sweating etc.

My Grandparents have been my rock in life (or at least one of them!)

My Grandparents were my rock in my younger life.

They lived in Adelaide at the back of Modbury Hospital. When they first lived there, there were almond orchards on the hill across the creek, but then the big ugly buildings went up, which must have been horrible for them. But I came along after the hospital was built so for me it was always there.

Me just above the bridge.

Me just above the bridge.

They had a huge back yard with a creek running through it, which meant they effectively ended up with two backyards. By the house they had a modest yard with a garden and two sheds, a garage and a wood shed, and there were trees, lawn, vegies, hibiscus flowers. They put a hire wire fence along where this yard ended, along the top of the very steep creek bank, which they didn’t want their grandchildren to fall down.

Grandma with two of her 5 grandchildren - my brother and me.

Grandma with two of her five grandchildren – my brother and me.

A wire gate underneath a wisteria arbour led down concrete stepsĀ  which grandpa had made, to a little bridge over the creek, and on the other side of the creek a path led to a chook shed. The whole lower garden was planted with things that didn’t need watering, with cacti planted in the very steep section, where it was difficult to get to. As a child we were warned to keep away, but aged around 4 I somehow managed to fall into a cactus near where grandpa had his incinerator.

By the creek agapanthus grew, cotoneaster, ash trees self sown from further up the creek, ivy, hen and chicken succulents, a couple of fruit trees, a jade bush, and a huge pine that had been planted by Uncle Tim. The pine was so big we could not actually imagine it as a seedling. It was always on the wild side, and the older we got, the more time we spent there. Eventually grandpa made a second set of brick and concrete steps, only about half as wide as the first lot, which began at by the incinerator and took you to just above the bridge.

Grandpa in work clothes near the incinerator. (These were banned in the early 1990s)

Grandpa in work clothes near the incinerator. (These were banned in the early 1990s)

Every now and then the creek would flood, but I would never get to see it. We were always told, “you should have been here yesterday”. But one day, when I was 16, I finally managed to arrive when the creek was in full flood, and had a great time splashing around. To everyone’s surprise, my grandma joined me! The garden would survive but would often be buried in silt and sand afterwards and the paths would have to be shoveled clean.

Oh what a flood!

Oh what a flood!

In the dream last night torrential rains over the 16 years since they’d left the house had washed away most of grandpa’s steps and bridge, and little of the garden remained, which makes me wonder what it looks like now. For years I had fantasied about one day owning this garden, but I was overseas when they sold up. Needless to say the place sold quickly!

This is a garden I used to have one of my favourite recurring dreams about, in which I discover a lost section that was there the whole time, but hadn’t seen before.


One response to this post.

  1. […] pink one came from Grandma’s garden and grew slowly in its pot for many years before being planted out […]


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