Bundled solar lights in the polytunnel give tropical leaves an artic-blue slant. Ten slugs are plucked from the soil: moist bits of muscle that contract on touch. They have no concept of ownership, nor of work: their lives seem harmlessly simple, apart from this misunderstanding between us. They eat our work before it fruits: their boneless bodies are fed to nesting birds.
Wood smoke moves through the house, startled up by the wine blips. After a good day's work, feet rest up and the gardening books are open.
Everything green gets bigger and bigger. Lawnmowers are pushed to keep the grass from swallowing all of civilisation. The butternut squash might form its own government. We edge the vast leaves, placatory.
'The feed is working,' we agree.
Underneath, the spinach is finding a way, the sweet peppers seem content.
Over at the shed the roof seems watertight.
'Exciting times,' we agree.
There is still a problem with cats.
Garden plans are forwarded with digging. Slugs and odd bugs are chucked mid-lawn. Dog eats a dandelion root. Turned earth is covered, put under wraps. It is hot and heavenly to think of coming back to this plot and knowing all the preparation is done.
To watch the flowers open and know: we did this.