Stan Watkins’ Garden

Hello, friendly readers. It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog. Thanks for staying with me.

There has been some progress in the filming of the documentary of my father’s life and work. We may be concentrating on the Sound part for now, as the funding has been slow in coming. Filming is always a hard sell. But we’ll keep at it!

Last week my director had me in the back garden, mainly because Stan Watkins was such a fan of nature. As a boy he collected insects and bugs of all kinds, later butterflies.

SSAW butterfly collection 010

He identified and labeled them all meticulously, and his collection remains undamaged in airtight wooden boxes in my attic.

So we were filming out under a pine tree where a bird chirped merrily. I couldn’t help myself and blew a whistle back. The bird and I carried on a conversation for some time while the cameraman and sound girl held in their delighted laughter. Later my director called me the Bird Whisperer.

I’m sure Daddy must have whistled to birds in his time, too. And he spent time sitting in his garden in Dulwich, London, often sketching, or perhaps writing yet another of his poems. I found this one in a notebook labeled Poems & Whimseys, and some song lyrics. He called it “Leguminous”.

We have a little garden at our little Dulwich home
The house is in the road that’s known as Burbage
We haven’t many flowers and there’s not a single gnome
What is there in the garden? Mainly herbage.

Of course there is a lawn there, but it’s not exactly level
Some of it is slightly up-and-downish
Resulting that in places it’s as fertile as the devil
While in other parts it’s rather bald and brownish.

There’s a border in the garden whence we try to keep the lawn out
But with grass and weeds it keeps on getting seeded
So it takes a lot of hoeing and the hoe is getting worn out
And I sometimes feel the border isn’t needed.

The one redeeming feature of this part of our estate
For which its other failings I will pardon
Is the very luscious veg’tables my fairest cultivates
In the patch down at the bottom of our garden.

Stan in Dulwich



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