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China Girl blog 14th November 2019

Mother says she feels much as the old Hebrew patriarch Noah must have felt when according to the old testament, he built the ark. Oh, what a wet autumn it has been, in fact a very wet year; no wonder the garden has looked so lush these past twelve months. When Mother and I walked through the garden this morning, the river had swollen to about six times its normal height; rushing by, carrying flotsam and jetsam on its way through the valley to the sea.

Clive Boursnell the photographer who photographed the garden in the summer, came to capture the autumn colours for his book “The Secret Gardens of Somerset.” He arrived last night and despite Mother asking him to stay in the house, he insisted on sleeping in his camper van. Despite the wind and rain, he managed to get some lovely shots.

On Friday, Mathew and Charlie came to stay. On Saturday we went to the Antiques Fair at Shepton Mallet. We all bought a few choice objects and Ma sold a tall silver vase which had been sitting for about fifty years unloved in a cupboard. Mother remembers her father saying many years ago that for every sixpence you spend, it should give you an hour of pleasure; I wonder how many pounds that would be now?

For Mother’s art homework, she drew the lovely pink bulb Nerine bowdenii, which she picked in the garden. In the wild it comes from South Africa, growing in the Drakensberg mountains.

The tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera, has spectacular autumn foliage of a clear yellow. Despite the autumn gales it has held onto its leaves, looking beautiful beside the lake, reflected in the water.

So time passes. The photographer Clive and Mother were bemoaning growing old, Clive said “Growing old aint for sissies!”