Being There

Peter Sellars is a favourite movie star of mine, from ‘I’m alright Jack to Dr Strangelove to Chancy Gardener in ‘Being There’.

His portrayal of Chance the gardener in ‘Being There’ is profound and striking. Middle-aged, simple-minded Chance lives in the townhouse of a wealthy old man. He has spent his whole life tending the garden and has never left the property. Other than gardening, his knowledge is derived entirely from what he sees on television. When his benefactor dies, Chance naively tells the lawyers that he has no claim against the estate and is ordered to move out. Chance wanders aimlessly, discovering the outside world for the first time. Passing by a TV shop, he sees himself captured by a camera in the shop window. Entranced, he steps backward off the sidewalk and is struck by a chauffeured car owned by elderly business mogul Ben Rand. In the car is Rand’s much younger wife Eve, who mishears “Chance, the gardener” in reply to the question who he is, as “Chauncey Gardiner” and so story really begins.

Unfortunately, I am completely the opposite of Chance. I know nothing about gardening and quite a lot about other stuff which has not been that helpful managing the plants and fauna at Powdermills Bed & Breakfast. It is not that I do not appreciate the garden, it is just unlike Chance, I had always had other things to do. It has been a steep learning curve and my knowledge has concentrated mastering the physical aspects of cutting and managing lawns and pruning wayward trees, branches and weeds.

I am more capable than I was three years ago. Nonetheless, dare I say it – things have turned the corner. This spring I decided to try and plant some flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables. The major problem is that with two Boxer dogs, flower beds at ground level is just asking for destruction! So, bizarrely, in grounds with vast planting opportunities, we were forced to consider constructing a raised bed.

Did I mention, I am not very good at ‘Do it yourself’ either. However, after three years – I am getting better at that too. So what started as ‘wouldn’t it be good to plant a flower or two’, now turned into a major construction project. Luckily, I had spare timber and after much sawing and hammering – a very raised bed arrived! But at least Boo and Mabel can not get near the plants.

We will see how the flowers grow but the rest of the garden is starting to bloom, the bees are buzzing, the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. We have been open for three weeks and have been busy, and judging by the reviews our customers are happy.

Life, like the garden is starting to brighten up!