When I look out of our bedroom window I can see three gardens.

The garden to my left is a very tidy plot. A neatly paved terrace separated from the immaculate lawn by a neat wall about 1 foot high. The lawn is edged by a narrow border of neatly clipped evergreen shrubs. This neighbour mows the grass religiously at least once a week during the summer, so that no daisy or buttercup ever gets to rear its head.

The garden to my left is a jungle! I think it must have been a rather beautiful garden once as, amidst the greenery, interesting flowers occasionally appear. This is a corner plot so is larger than average and contains some lovely old established trees, (probably from the original orchard on which these houses were built). That neighbour has a group of gardeners in once a year who attack the undergrowth and keep it from encroaching outside the borders of the plot.

When we came to view this house it was summer time and the garden looked very pretty and very tidy!

The lawn was bordered by rose bushes, evergreen shrubs and a couple of hardy fuchsias. At the back of one bed was a line of conifers and behind the small wall separating the lawn from the terrace was a well clipped box hedge.

During the winter it still looked tidy but rather boring and when spring arrived there were no bulbs or spring flowers, just one rather lone white camellia,so the first thing I put on my list was bulbs and primulas.

The only edible plant was the grapevine, neatly wound round a trellis arch, so second on my list was to find space for fruit bushes and trees, so out went the box hedge (to a very grateful plumber!),  and in went fruit bushes and raspberry canes. Out came the conifers and in went the tayberry and thornless blackberry against the newly exposed wall.  JW unwound the grape vine and trained it along wires on the opposite wall.

The window boxes and planters which we bought for our first house have all come in to use again and house my “mini orchard” and herb garden.

I am a self confessed plantoholic so every available space is being filled with choice plants (I just have to buy one or two of each instead of the vast quantities I used to get away with in the previous garden, 🙂

Whilst I pondered on the differences in the three gardens, ultra tidy on one side, near jungle on the other and mine in the middle, controlled sprawl, and I realised that this sums up my whole life. I am nearly always in the middle in politics, in religion and in views on life in general. I have never been rich, but neither have I been broke. I have never been a “high flyer” but I have never been out of work. I am as horrified by violent crime as any one else, but I find myself wondering what makes  those committing them  do it, especially those who are children themselves. If I had been born to a different family, and brought up in similar circumstances, would I have been violent? 

I wonder if being raised in the Midlands, (of a family where three branches of my family have lived for generations) is what makes me a middle of the roader. Is it genetic or environmental?

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