Our Garden.

A poem by Juliana Horatia Ewing

The winter is gone; and at first Jack and I were sad,
Because of the snow-man's melting, but now we are glad;
For the spring has come, and it's warm, and we're allowed to garden in the afternoon;
And summer is coming, and oh, how lovely our flowers will be in June!
We are so fond of flowers, it makes us quite happy to think
Of our beds--all colours--blue, white, yellow, purple, and pink,
Scarlet, lilac, and crimson! And we're fond of sweet scents as well,
And mean to have pinks, roses, sweet peas, mignonette, clove carnations, musk, and everything good to smell;
Lavender, rosemary, and we should like a lemon-scented verbena, and a big myrtle tree!
And then if we could get an old "preserved-ginger" pot, and some bay-salt, we could make _pot-pourri_.
Jack and I have a garden, though it's not so large as the big one, you know;
But whatever can be got to grow in a garden we mean to grow.
We've got Bachelor's Buttons, and London Pride, and Old Man, and everything that's nice:
And last year Jack sowed green peas for our dolls' dinners, but they were eaten up by the mice.
And he would plant potatoes in furrows, which made the garden in a mess,
So this year we mean to have no kitchen-garden but mustard and cress.
One of us plants, and the other waters, but Jack likes the watering-pot;
And then when my turn comes to water he says it's too hot!
We sometimes quarrel about the garden, and once Jack hit me with the spade;
So we settled to divide it in two by a path up the middle, and that's made.
We want some yellow sand now to make the walk pretty, but there's none about here,
So we mean to get some in the old carpet-bag, if we go to the seaside this year.
On Monday we went to the wood and got primrose plants and a sucker of a dog-rose;
It looks like a green stick in the middle of the bed at present; but wait till it blows!
The primroses were in full flower, and the rose ought to flower soon;
You've no idea how lovely they are in that wood in June!
The primroses look quite withered now, I am sorry to say,
But that is not our fault but Nurse's, and it shows how hard it is to garden when you can't have your own way.
We planted them carefully, and were just going to water them all in a lump,
When Nurse fetched us both indoors, and put us to bed for wetting our pinafores at the pump.
It's very hard, and I'm sure the gardener's plants wouldn't grow any better than ours,
If Nurse fetched him in and sent him to bed just when he was going to water his flowers.
We've got Blue Nemophila and Mignonette, and Venus's Looking-glass, and many other seeds;
The Nemophila comes up spotted, which is how we know it from the weeds.
At least it's sure to come up if the hens haven't scratched it up first.
But when it is up the cats roll on it, and that is the worst!
I sowed a ring of sweet peas, and the last time I looked they were coming nicely on,
Just sprouting white, and I put them safely back; but when Jack looked he found they were gone.
Jack made a great many cuttings, but he has had rather bad luck,
I've looked at them every day myself, and not one of them has struck.
The gardener gave me a fine moss-rose, but Jack took it to his side,
I kept moving it back, but he took it again, and at last it died.
But now we've settled to dig up the path, and have the bed as it was before,
So everything will belong to us both, and we shan't ever quarrel any more.
It is such a long time, too, to wait for the sand, and perhaps sea-sand does best on the shore.
We're going to take everything up, for it can't hurt the plants to stand on the grass for a minute,
And you really can't possibly rake a bed smooth with so many things in it.
We shall dig it all over, and get leaf-mould from the wood, and hoe up the weeds,
And when it's tidy we shall plant, and put labels, and strike cuttings, and sow seeds.
We are so fond of flowers, Jack and I often dream at night
Of getting up and finding our garden ablaze with all colours, blue, red, yellow, and white.
And Midsummer's coming, and big brother Tom will sit under the tree
With his book, and Mary will beg sweet nosegays of Jack and me.
The worst is, we often start for the seaside about Midsummer Day,
And no one takes care of our gardens whilst we are away.
But if we sow lots of seeds, and take plenty of cuttings before we leave home,
When we come back, our flowers will be all in full bloom,
Bright, bright sunshine above, and sweet, sweet flowers below.
Come, oh Midsummer, quickly come! and go quickly, Midsummer, go!

P.S. It is so tiresome! Jack wants to build a green-house now,
He has found some bits of broken glass, and an old window-frame, and he says he knows how.
I tell him there's not glass enough, but he says there's lots,
And he's taken all the plants that belong to the bed and put them in pots.

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