What is your taste in sexual fetishes? If you are interested in voyeurism, you are in luck. Everyone is at it like knives, getting jiggy in and around the garden as if auditioning for a mucky movie. Next door’s tom cat keeps swinging by on the off chance that my neutered females might change their minds and give him a go. His testicles are so large and furry that he has to squeeze his arse between the bars of the gate. I’ve told him that without chocolates or at least a bunch of flowers, he doesn’t have a hope but he persists with a look of goofy optimism and dissonant midnight love songs.
Fritillaria meleagris (snakeshead fritillary)
The pond is full of fornicating frogs. The males wear an expression of pop-eyed enthusiasm, their women folk appear resigned. If I round the corner suddenly, they all disappear beneath the surface as if someone turned on the light at an orgy. I take a seat and sit still, in order to encourage the least inhibited to perform a bit of dogging, well, frogging. The tenors croak their arias of affection until the sopranos show up. There’s no dignity in the manner with which they fling themselves on the back of the first girl they find, grabbing her beneath the armpits in a kind of lust crazed Heimlich manoeuvre. Rivals are seen off with a webbed foot to the face, a tactic that I have seen reproduced in a disco with Doc Martins.
Last summer we had newts hanging suspended between the water lilies like so many miniature Godzillas. They kept a daytime bivouac in a pile of boulders, which I discovered by accident during a tidying session. Unexpected eyeballs looked up at me in outrage and indignation. I replaced the stones gently and quietly but don’t wish to deter them by going back to check on their presence. We have three species in the UK, all protected from molestation by law. The great crested newt is the rarest and from the pictures, very like the beast that I saw from my brief glimpse. Attila says that my attitude is typical and I’m just high maintenance; I’m in no position to argue.
Viola odorata (sweet violet)
Hen blackbirds have started to build their nests, the cocks are swanning around the shrubberies singing about their potential as a lover. She broods the eggs alone but they both feed the growing chicks and quite right too. The blue tits are rolling up their sleeves, getting ready for parenthood using a similar method. Sparrows are more modern birds, sharing the baby sitting and stuffing duties equally. I’ve caught sight of one ladybird and a few butterflies stumbling about, rubbing their eyes and yawning. I’ve no doubt whatever that the slugs, snails and aphids are all thinking about getting their rocks off.
Helleborus (black Lenten rose)
The plants do not produce blossom for your pleasure or mine. The colour, perfume and all round pimping is a ploy to lure in some company to transfer pollen from stamens to carpals and thence to the ovaries. Bees receive a pay – off in nectar but obtain no part of the jollies. I could be wrong; all of that buzzing must mean something.