Monday, 19 September 2011

A garden as British as British can be!

Last week end my son was invited to a school friend's birthday party.The area where his friend stays is near the United Nations building in Nairobi and has lots of embassies too.There were lovely bungalows all around and we located his and the security guard let us in at the gate.As we followed the trail of balloons to the rear of the house,we stepped into the back garden!And we were transported to a Kolonial era of over fifty,maybe even a hundred years ago....we felt as if we had stepped into a garden that Rudyard Kipling,Agatha Christie,Ruskin Bond and of course our beloved Enid blyton have described over the course of so many books.A garden tailor made for children of all ages where they could amuse themselves from morn to dusk and still be reluctant to come into the house!
There was an absolutely enchanting tree house that just seemed  made for children to clamber into and the way out of the house was over a precariously swaying wooden bridge that would surely thrill any child and make the supervising adult's heart race too!
There was a massive rubber tree which was at least three floors high and threw shade over a large part of the garden.The rest of the area was dappled with sunlight.So a child could choose to bask in the sun with a book in hand or snooze in the shade!
There was a pole in the centre of the garden on which an adventurous child could shin up and then slide down and a glassed in porch to take your high tea while watching the antics of the children.A rustic wooden see saw filled our hearts with delight!Once upon a time a pond existed too but it had been sanded over.I suppose too many frisky children had tumbled into it!Masses of lillies,bunches of peonies,clumps of maiden hair fern,rambler roses of varied hues,a large hibiscus bush with bright red hibiscus flowers,a sprawling lawn,other ancient trees that looked as if they had watched over generatons of children playing in that garden.....
That Nairobi garden belongs to another time,another era.An age when children did not need play stations,game boys,an X box...A time when mothers never heard the words 'Mom I am bored,what should I do?'No chance!Such a  magical garden took care of every need any child ever had!

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