Home is where the heart is, true enough. My question is where is home? Is home where you live or is it where you grew up? Maybe it’s both. Since I left home thirty six years ago, I have called Newcastle upon Tyne, Mannheim, Tavistock, Nottingham, Balham, Lewisham, Southwark, Marylebone, Islington and Surrey home. All of those places were happy havens but the one place I return to every time is Bergh Apton just outside Norwich.
Strolling around the garden I see not only the reality in front of me but all the memories stacked behind. Planting these Silver Birch trees is one of my first memories; I was three and the trees were about my height, now many years later they tower above the house.
This chap came to the garden when Bergh Apton held a sculpture trail. For many years the gardens in the village were filled with the work of many fine sculptors including this one by Mark Goldsworthy. I love the way that the frost has turned his ebony hair grey.
Artemis, Diana, the huntress, call her what you will, was another visitor during a different sculpture trail. When she arrived she was white as white but time has given her a green dress.
There are many different varieties of willow here, I love all the different colours but especially the way the bright yellow one sings in the sun. At this time of year, all of the small branches need to be cut to make way for new growth. You can simply push the cut end of a willow twig into the ground and it will grow. In previous years I have bought some back to Surrey; they have a long way to go before they look like this!
I am writing this back in Surrey. Home is Surrey and Bergh Apton and my heart is in both, is that allowed? Where do you call home?