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China Girl blog 18th July 2018


Ma feels there is something remarkably sympathetic about the love of home. When she leaves, even for a short time, there is a Greek word which springs to mind, ‘algos’ which means the pain associated with leaving home. We are all but custodians in the houses we live in. Here at Cothay, there is a complete sense of tranquillity. As the years roll by, little has changed; the walls basking in the summer heat are saturated in history as we that are the new custodians, take up our tasks.

This week, the struggle to water the parched earth carries on. How lucky we are to have a deep bore hole. It is hard to remember the awful wet winter when we prayed for the rain to stop.

In the heat, the clothes moths have been breeding fast. Tim, the environmental pest control man came again to spray. A swallow flew into the sticky moth trap; Tim washed its wings with fairy liquid. We put the bird in a box to dry and Tim took the box away so Moses, Mother’s fierce Maine Coon cat could not prey on it. How awful to fly all the way from Africa, only to be caught on a sticky paper. Apparently, Tim says there has been a proliferation of insects owing to the heat.

Chris, Rose and Ma have been filling in all the gaps in the borders with annuals, after the passing of the early perennials. The show-stoppers are the perennial gauras, their flowers like delicate white moths. Gaura comes from the word gauros, meaning superb. The form we grow is Gaura lindheimeri, from Texas and Louisiana; a truly magnificent plant, it prefers a warm sunny position in well-drained soil, a must for the summer garden.

England shimmers in the heat; everywhere the grass has turned brown, the trees are losing their leaves and the parched earth is cracked as we watch and wait for rain.