In real life, I don’t have a particularly green thumb. We grow vegetables and herbs in the spare corner of our garden, but most of it is taken up by lawn. The kids ride scooters and balance bikes over the grass and I hang washing out over it: that’s about as much action as the garden sees most days.
My mind, on the other hand, is a beautiful gardener. The singular hallucination that I do not hate and wish away is, of all things, of flowers. They grow across the inanimate surfaces of what I am looking at: walls, floors, furniture, roads, buildings. Mostly they look real, a fresh and lush collection of daisies and violets, roses, lupins, chrysanthemums, orchids and a hundred other varieties I could not name. Occasionally they look a little more cartoonish and psychedelic, or a mix of the two: the realistic and the impossible together. They grow and flourish with extraordinary speed, without leaves or thorns – just flowers. They crowd together in cracks and corners, or spread across a concrete road as I watch.
The flowers are a mystery. I don’t know why I see them, why they grow across the frame of a picture or the edge of the bed in front of my eyes. I feel a brief shiver of pleasure when I see them, exquisitely full of colour and life. Then a pang of guilt – does enjoyment mean I am sinking deeper into the sea of psychosis? Cautious, I try to keep the spark of joy in check.
Either way, the voices that usually accompany my hallucinations provide no clues. When I see flowers, the chatter and accusations and instructions from the voices are quiet. It’s a wonder in itself, that I am left to watch in silence. All is peaceful, as the flowers bloom outwards from my broken mind.