I don’t have a garden in Germany. When Spring arrived this year, I spent a lot of time sitting in parks, listening to the bees and trying to discretely smell and then pick flowers. Spring in Bavaria was absolutely beautiful, exactly the kind of Northern hemisphere Spring I had read of in books as a child. Bright yellow fields of canola flowers, long, green grass and flowers everywhere. After such long, cold winters, you can hear and smell and see the world waking up, shaking off the last of the frost. Where I live in Australia, we don’t really have that – we don’t have the sort of weather that shuts everything down, runs animals underground and strips flora of all its growth so only naked, embarrassed spindles remain, all the better to wait out the snow and icy nights. Our chilly, wet winters give way to Spring with bluer skies, a burst of blossom and a wink. But if you sit in a park on a warm day in May, in a country that has just finished shovelling snow off its roads, you can feel Spring spring.
When I go back to Germany, I won’t have a garden either. Just pots of herbs, vases of flowers and a favourite park. In fact I probably won’t have a garden like the one I grew up with, ever again. All the more reason to spend as much time in this one while I can, while it’s still something I can call my own.