Monday, 21 July 2014

Aunt Margery and Uncle Robert

(By the time we reach the bottom of this post I could be having trouble with apostrophes ....  )

Those of you who've been following us at Bag End since the beginning might remember in addition to the Triffids (Leylandii) which ringed the garden we were 'blessed' with three huge cherry trees in what is now the Cottage Garden. In March 2008 I wrote:

There are three very large Prunus, not sure exactly which one. A pretty tree, nicely shaped with attractive blossom in Spring - and located in a solid line across the front of the plot blocking the view of the fells from all but the study window. They are not needed for privacy therefore I suspect they were planted 10 or 15 years ago without thought for how they would mature. It feels like sacrilege but they are all coming out. I have already made a start on two of them (do not ever under-estimate the capabilities of a determined woman with a pruning saw). The largest (and middle) tree has a reprieve until it has flowered and then it too will be coming out.



In an act of Horticultural Vandalism they were the first things to be felled. 

The blossom was pretty though ...



It took another 12 months and some hired heavies to get the stumps/roots out.



Fast forward to now, it looks less like a World War I battlefield and every Spring we have, not poppies, but miniature daffodils popping up.  Each year I point this out to Management and say "I'm never going to dig the lawn in this area because I'm sure someone's dog is buried under the grass"; I know that the owner-before-last had a couple of West Highland Terriers and I reckoned one or both of them is still here.  Stands to reason - a garden where no-one ever took any time or trouble, never did any 'real' gardening, so why would bulbs be planted under a tree if not to mark the site?

Moving to the present day ...  I was shopping, not in Cockermouth but buying directly from a local farm.  Got into a lengthy conversation with farmer's wife because she knows LP, it's a small world around here.  We talk about gardening, she asks me where I live.

Long story short: owner-before-last is her cousin.  I was wrong about a dog being buried in our Cottage Garden.  It is the ashes of his parents - her Aunt Margery and Uncle Robert.  When the son put his Mum & Dad in the garden it caused great upset.  They were active members of the village church and the rest of the family thought they should have been interred in the churchyard. Farmer's wife's Mum, now 84 years old and sister of Margery, was always very upset as she felt she could not visit her sister's final resting place once the son sold this house.

You couldn't make it up. I've given them photos of the Cottage Garden as it now is so that Mum can see the area is tidy and cared for.  An invitation for tea has been extended, I don't know if they will come.






14 comments:

  1. Oh-er.
    Well I could understand someone wanting to bury a loved one in that spot, it is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Jessica. If I get any choice in the matter I'd be quite happy to depart life sitting looking at this view, or at least come back to haunt it later :}

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  2. Oh-er indeed. ;)

    Well - they do have a lovely view. But, what happens when "Mum" is no longer around to tell another set of new owners where Margery and Uncle Robert are buried. Digging up bones here is a police noteworthy event...

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    1. Don't worry Dani, it's not bones - the parents were cremated. Exhumation isn't taken lightly in this country either! However, to the best of my knowledge anyone can legally be buried in their own garden but you have to officially make note of the fact on the property deeds. I don't think there are any restrictions on ashes though :}

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  3. Having read your story I'd assumed that it was their ashes! My mum's ashes are buried under a tree in their garden - but with a laminated letter explaining who is in the urn and a bit about mum!

    It's all looking good in the garden Bilbo! Me and the Japanese garden have featured in the August edition of Prima magazine - I had to buy one before I agreed to doing it as I'd never read before! It's an article on 'women who work in sheds'! What a hoot!!!

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    1. Hi Nutty, one would hope that future owners of your Mum & Dad's house are respectful ... it's a risk you take.

      I erred and faffed for months before finally putting Ollie's ashes in the garden. I still sometimes wish I hadn't done it - if I had to leave here I couldn't take him with me.

      Many congrats on your fifteen minutes of fame. Will have to buy a copy (and like you, I've never read it, don't even know what it looks like!)

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  4. So the urn was buried not a case of just scattering ashes. There is a sort of angel statue in next doors garden and I often wonder,

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    1. Sue, I'm assuming it is ashes but there could well be an urn somewhere .....

      Angel statue? Go on, I dare you ask them :}

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  5. That's a lovely story, even if it's somewhat sad. I must admit though, the views are worth the trees coming down. I do love your garden and wondering what is out at the moment. How are the veg beds coming along? Take care and have a good week.

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    1. Hi Susan, verbena bonariensis, day lillies, astilbe, astrantia, clematis, plus other stuff I can't think of right now :} Not enough in flower at present but this is such a new garden I'm not worried, hopefully I can improve the planting as time goes by.

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  6. What an interesting story. I thought about putting Molly (beagle) ashes in one of my garden beds, but reconsidered. Mom wants cremated and scattered, so that's good. And, if you think about it, they calculated that over 8 billion people have come before us. I'm sure we're all treading on the resting place of someone.....

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    1. Nice thought Kris, Bag End was farmland before the houses were built, wonder what I'm walking in/on {grin}

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