Ivy, Brambles, Spiders, Old Cemeteries and Funeral Homes!
S P Oldham
It was beautiful here again this morning, so I decided to tackle my garden!
Now, the garden itself is relatively low maintenance - mainly paved and with lots of big planters. However, right up against it is a patch of what can only really be described as wasteland, and the abundance of wildlife that grows there encroaches upon the garden quite a bit.
So I rolled up my sleeves and as best I could for a woman with golfer's elbows and arthritis, I got stuck in! To be fair it was quite nice in the sun, hacking away at the brambles and blackberry bushes, creeping ivy and so on. The nettles were slightly less fun and they did wreak their revenge on me a few times, but still, that's to be expected I suppose.
My garden is without doubt the most spidery garden I have ever encountered! It's not just the myriad webs that bedeck the railings. The minute you step onto the gravel borders, the stones come alive with spiders racing to escape being crushed! There are some corkers out there too - really big. As long as they stay in the garden and well away from me, that's fine... I like watching them, I appreciate the vital role they play in nature, but I REALLY don't want them on me!
Anyway, while I was sat her thinking about writing in my blog about my garden adventures today, it occurred to me that actually I have a nice little back-story, considering I am a horror writer.
My garden is literally on the side of a mountain. It is now paved in a series of large steps, the lower two being very wide and comprising the main part of the garden. To the rear and right hand side is the encroaching wild life I have already told you about (mind you, much as I love my lovely neighbours, I do wish they would sort their garden out as a lot of 'wildlife' encroaches from their side too. But that's another story.) At the furthermost point at the back is a fence now covered in ivy, which I keep intentionally as it is an important habitat for the birds and other wildlife, and my permanently locked garden gate.
And behind that, is the Funeral Home.
Now, there is nothing intrinsically scary about a Funeral Home. At least not to me anyway. It is actually quite a nice building, with a wide open forecourt, pleasant grassed areas and the owners are decent people. Their drive in fact constitutes the path to my back door, but we rarely use it out of respect for their business.
What gets more interesting is the fact that the wall lining their courtyard and leading directly from my gate is lined with very old headstones. And the waste area behind my garden, and apparently (according to rumour) part of my garden itself, used to be an ancient cemetery.
I have to say, all this interests rather than scares me, I just thought it was a nice little added extra for a writer of the spooky, such as myself! When we moved in five years or so ago and began work on the garden we dug up all kinds of weird and wonderful things; rotting mattresses, blankets and baby mattresses, car tyres, smashed crockery and glass, even a whole window pane, glass still in place, though broken. It was more like a junk yard than a cemetery and I suspect that's exactly what it was - there was no fence around it when we moved in either. But we also found bones (ok, the dog did.) He brought in a few largish bones, some of which I swore at the time looked like spinal vertebrae, but I was laughed at and shouted down. Now it makes me wonder.
We didn't know back then about the cemetery rumour...