It was quite a busy day at Dad's house yesterday getting so much done on one day, but we found time to sit and talk gardens and family history and planned for places we would all visit after lockdown. He has had the new David Austin rose catalogue delivered which has inspired me to get a new rose it all looked so beautiful. I love roses in the garden.
Following on from yesterdays post about the local area I have been thinking a lot about our garden. I found an old map online from the 1800s of our area and our little junction where the two tracks used to meet, which is now the junction of the two roads, is clearly marked as a little area of farm buildings for the farm that was once all over our area. We have dug up so many items in the back garden that are remnants from this past. Lots of horse shoes, which make me wonder if the horses were kept here. I love to think of the working Shire Horses in stables where our back garden is. We are always digging up large pieces of walls which must have been from the buildings themselves. They are a mixture of flint and bricks which are typical of a lot of the older buildings around the area going back hundreds of years. I always reuse what I find and make edges to flower beds with them. We even found some more pieces the other day when were re-laying paving slabs while building the duck run, which I am looking forward to putting around the garden. When next door had their extension build and a smart new garden wall, all the old flint they dug up went into the skip, I was heartbroken! I keep meaning to see if I can find a book about the history of walls, I love then so much!
One of the finds I have made in the garden is very precious to me. While digging I have found two old metal door mats. One is in good condition and is at the door of my greenhouse but the second one I found was cast iron and buried very deeply. I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered it as it was a beautiful metalwork, so intricate with a lovely design around the edges. I carefully dug around the edges, in my mind it was already painted black and standing by our front door. I felt like an archaeologist on my hands brushing away all the soil, it's so exciting to find something that no one else has seen for decades. Then as I lifted it out of the ground it crumbled into pieces, it was so rusty there was nothing really holding it together, it was ever so disappointing but then something else caught my eye shining in the soil underneath it. It was a silver chain and pendant which I carefully pulled out of the soil. So far down and under the old cast iron mat, it must have been there for a hundred years.
I have cleaned it up and often wear it. I wonder all the time who it belonged to. Was it the young woman who was the first inhabitant of the house with her husband in 1908, or was it dropped earlier by someone walking through before the house was even built. They must have been so upset when they realised it had gone. How strange if they had known that all these years later it would be found and worn again.