top of page

In the Corner of a City Garden

Sarah Drysdale

There is a peaceful quality to the garden. The air is damp and still. Tones of sharp green, bright ferns are dotted through the subdued shade of evergreen laurels.
Noises are slightly muffled. There are scuffling sounds of blackbird’s wings, and their sudden alarm calls punctuate the background whistling, chirruped chorus of smaller birds.
Occasional bursts of rhythmic bass cooing from wood pigeons provide a soporific pulse.
Further off, high flying seagulls start a commentary on the view below. One begins, others join in and the sound builds to a discord. Then, as if losing interest, the debate gradually fades away.

Slight breeze, bamboo shakes, tapping against the old stone wall. Today there is a lighter sky than yesterday, the faintly visible sun lightens the spirit. A squadron of long tailed tits arrive in the willow tree, I’ve rarely seen so many together and they look very fine silhouetted against the pale clouds.
Each day more green replaces grey.

In the corner of a city garden, enclosed by old stone walls that form a private space and a refuge. Beneath a goat willow, it’s an oversized, unruly tree for this space, giving the illusion of a sense of wilderness. Last year’s growth now provides a deep carpet of leaf litter, punctured by a new growth where green shoots of mysterious bulbs and soft buttery yellow primroses push through the fallen mantle. A female blackbird delves through the dark layers in an untidy scattering habit. Her rustling impatient energy is strangely soothing to watch. The sooty coated male arrives, brilliant orange beak stabbing at mouldering apples lying on the grass. His arrival was impressive, a swooping flight past my startled head. The sudden urgent movement of whirring feathers like the hasty flicking pages of my notebook.

bottom of page