Funereal Ode to My Garden

When I first saw my current apartment, a bottom flat in a 3 million euro Victorian townhouse that I share with my upstairs neighbor (something of a pleasant, undecisive nerd who won an Academy Award for something or other), I was immediately smitten. Not necessarily by its location, in a little millionaire’s district (my next door neighbor and my landlord is one of Dublin’s major real estate moguls, who is exceptionally cool about the fact that I lock myself out of my apartment about once a week, due to the fact that I am afraid to hide a spare key outside lest the magpies carry it off, since I think I remember from some nursery rhyme or another that they are enchanted with shiny objects, and usually sends me home with a few bottles of wine from his vast wine cellar every time I hit him up for the spares) between the wealthy borough and the student’s borough of Dublin, although that was certainly part of it after being on a first name basis with the vomitting drunks and prostitutes who I’d find passed out on my doorstep at my last apartment. It was the garden.

A little swathe of Victorian vegetation: monkey puzzle trees, mysterious black shrubberies, elms and pollen snowing elms enclosed in old mason walls creeping with ivy. As long as I have lived in this apartment, I have been totally enchanted by this garden - in the mornings, I would try to memorize a poem a day while sitting outside, smoking some Dunhill 965 and drinking tea. In the afternoons, I’d take a break from work to swing and nap in a hammock between the monkey puzzle and the elm. In the evenings, I’d drink beer, smoke my hookah and write. In the mornings, I’d even be awoken by the garden: the dark flutterings of penumbric leaves, floating down upon the early morning sun and onto my face and pillow. Birds would sing in the morning, an avian burble of an alarm clock. It was another vivid point that, over-poetically speaking, I had tried to paint into a somewhat pointillist life.

It’s all gone now. This afternoon, I discovered that my landlord had chainsawed it down.

The reasons for this go back about six months, when I came back from Christmas vacation to discover that my apartment had become an estuary in a flood of sewage, due to some failure in the sewage lines under the house. It turns out the reason for this was the roots were crushing the pipes, so my landlord was forced to cut down everything in the yard to eliminate the problem. Of course, he neglected to warn me, so when I walked out my bedroom doors to take a nap in the hammock after a hard morning of work, I felt like someone who came home to discover his entire house had been burned down.

Man, I’m heartbroken. This garden was wonderful. Girls would take one look at it and forgive me any deficiencies - the fact that I, god-like, tread upon the fragrant hummus of such a domain was enough for them. When my last lease was up, a friend offered to pay me 5,000 euros to give the apartment to her, just for the garden. I wrote some of the best sections of my novel in this garden. Everything about it was phenomenal - the way that it insulated the house from neighborhood sound, or the cats that would stalk, tiger-like, in the undergrowth, flashing eyes like ferocious agates at you in the dusk. The fact that I no longer live under the shade of a monkey puzzle tree is a grievous wound to my soul.

Of course, I suspect my landlord will landscape it somehow, probably do an excellent job (he’s got a great eye, or pays someone who does) but it’ll never be the same. I feel totally awful - I haven’t felt this bad since my last serious breakup. Anyway, I bought a nice cigar and a bottle of wine… I’m gonna go out and sit under the last remaining pole of my hammock trees as sort of a funereal ode to my garden. It gets put out of its misery tomorrow.

How many bodies did you hide under the “garden?”

Fortunately, at this point, you can’t tell.
You think he was using store-bought fertilizer?!

Seriously, though; that’s absolutely awful.

I take quite a lot of pleasure in my mother’s backyard. She’s done much of the same with her landscaping and it really does feel like something of an escape.

In case no one knows what a monkey puzzle tree is, here’s a pic:

They cut down a much bigger one in my back yard this afternoon. truly a unique, beautiful looking tree.


Monkey puzzle trees are all over the place where I live. They’re really odd-looking and quite beautiful.

I thought those things were called monkey balls trees? We’ve got a bunch of them in my neighborhood.

Oh I don’t even want to see a picture of on of those thanks.

  • Jimmy.

P.S - Sorry bout your garden… guess you’re gonna have to impress the girls with something else now all you’ve got is stumps.