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Front 4.4.15

Story and Photographs by Atomou

Mrs T makes lots of friends because she’s very garrulous and very gorgeous. She either accosts people or they accost her; either way they all end up taking a small promenade around our vegie patch, holding a cup of coffee or tea in their hand and chatting like sisters, brothers, daughters, blissful in each other’s company. I’m more of an indoors grump, slaving over ancient Greek and preposterously interesting emails from all sorts of people, from staff and students of unis and other educational institutions or thespians of every description.

But late last year we decided to put my idea into practice and now we are both constantly chatting with people from many miles away who have heard of this idea (MINE, thank you very much), which was to allocate the front meter and a half of the front yard to herbs and to make sure people gather them as they need them.

The response was quick and abundant. Young and old couples stopped, knocked on the front door and asked us if it was true they were allowed to pick whatever herb they liked and could they take a photo of the patch.

Most of my neighbours are Asians of one sort or another, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Singaporean, so the photos of our front yard are now known almost as well and as widely across the globe as my translations page!


The plants are:

  • Sage (four varieties, including Bog Sage)
  • Basil (4 varieties including Thai basil)
  • Mint (three varieties, including Vietnamese mint)
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Olive plant
  • Curry plant
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • As well as some spinach, lettuce, endives, rocket, hot chilies, arthritis plant (Gotu Kola)

I think that’s all.

I love watching parents and grandparents of very young children stopping, picking up a few leaves and bringing them up to the kid’s nose. The expression on those little faces send joy tremors up my spine and chuckles in my heart.