I arrived home recently to find a crisp white bag suspended from my door knocker, as chubby and enticing as a beaming swaddled baby swinging from a stork’s beak. Nervous, not expecting a delivery of any sort, I peered inside. A flash of green satisfied me that it wasn’t an unsavoury surprise (rarely do bad things come packaged in such verdant tones) so trustfully I cradled the white bag across the threshold and gingerly unpacked it on the kitchen table.
The most stunning vegetable I have ever had the pleasure to meet. The textured exterior with striations of intricate pattern displayed perfectly against the backdrop of rosewood. It was as if I had accidentally stumbled upon a Deliciously Ella photoshoot. Before me lay a magnificent marrow. Or a supercharged courgette. I’m not sure which, but all the while impressive. I unpacked his brothers, little speckled green soldiers lined up beside him, punctuated by a surprising yellow fellow – slightly smaller, but all the sweeter for having retained his sunshine hue. Twisted snarls of long green beens tumbled out on top of them, delightful in their furry texture and sword like, snappable length. I gazed at the personable vegetables, I practically gave them names. I loved them.
No note, no explanation. But I knew instinctively they were green gifts from my neighbour, a quietly busy lady, her front garden a riot of scarlet splashes and deep purple streaks. According to local legend, her back garden is full to overflowing with Good Life goodies: apples, tomatoes, corn, beans. I can’t keep a humble spider plant alive, so am in total awe of anyone who can actually sustain themselves with the alchemic magic of rain, seeds and sunshine. I dropped her a grateful note on a beautiful card. She smiled graciously next time I saw her, and told me she was pleased someone could use and enjoy her glut of produce. The next day, a brown paper bag bursting with beautiful tomatoes sat like a bountiful buddha on my Welcome mat.
Abundance, my sage friends. A word normally attributed to nature. My shy neighbour and her garden overspill has blossomed into quiet contentment and a peaceful sharing of neighbourly friendship that I feel will continue to grow. A rambling riot of abundant good feeling that will last long past this summer and its kindly vegetable offerings.