Lemon Barley and Lavender - Rebecca Stonehill

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by Rebecca Stonehill

When we sit next to one another in the arbour, I always sit on the right. The climbing roses have taken and they wind themselves in and out of the lattice. We must look a pair, sitting there for hours on end, nattering about this and that with our glasses of lemon barley water and drop scones. Sometimes we talk about plans for the garden and what’s going on in the village; more often our children and grandchildren come up.

It was our children that gave us this arbour for our diamond wedding anniversary. The best present we’ve ever had. It came with a honeysuckle plant, because they know how much we love it. We weaved it in amongst the roses and when it flowers, the scent quite overpowers me.

Honeysuckle. I remember when we first came to this house, looking for somewhere to bring up our children we hoped one day to be blessed with. It was the garden that did it for us, the garden that this arbour now sits in. We had just walked round the pond, filled with minnows and bottle blue dragonflies skimming the surface when she stopped in her tracks on the path. I remember her turning, her lovely pale, freckled arm reaching out towards me and her lips curling into a smile.