My Gran used to grow geraniums. They had a lean-to on the back end of the house. For those who don’t know, a lean-to is halfway between a conservatory and a greenhouse, and usually sits against the side or back of a house. The name makes it sound unstable but, at least in my experience, they’re pretty sturdy.


Before I was born, my Gran had a cat. A great, fat thing, as it got older, it slid down the roof of the lean-to and landed, unceremoniously but on its feet, on the garden steps.

Anyway, my Gran’s lean-to was filled to the brim with geraniums.


All different colours and that unmistakeable, semi-choking scent, that seeps into the clothing and makes the eyes swim, and yet, it is one of the best smells there is, in my opinion, because it reminds me of my Gran’s lean-to.