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China Girl blog 18th July 2019

Mother remarked that the July garden was somewhat like a once-beautiful woman who still retains her past glory. The light in the garden this week has been breath-taking; the dark clouds which appear at around tea time promise rain, but none falls. The old house is like a pearl in an oyster, perfect in its timelessness. How we love this precious gem.

On Friday we had a group called the Cornish Building Group. Ma expected a coachload of builders on their annual jolly, but much to her surprise, twenty-four architects turned up.

Yesterday lying dead upon the lawn, we found a fox cub. Poor little fellow, it had very sharp little teeth. We wondered if it had wandered into the garden to find something to eat, probably one of our precious ducks. But what had killed it, leaving it on the grass?

Watering these past weeks has been quite a chore; each day we water the floor of the greenhouse to cool it down. Of course, all of our glorious pots should have a couple of gallons of water, as in each pot there are about twenty thirsty plants.

Despite the fading of the Angels Fishing Rods, the terrace is still looking amazing. Many different plants have seeded between the old blue lias stone flags. It is difficult to tell the difference between blue lias and york stone, but blue lias is quarried locally.

In the Inner Court you can hardly move down the paths for fear of treading on the Mexican daisies, and the Verbena bonariensis growing to 6 feet, which have seeded in the gravel; they are a native of parts of South America.

Today we had a delightful Dutch group which Ma and Avril took around the house. Ma’s group wanted to see the kitchen, which was not looking its best, with a large bottle of whiskey on the table in the middle of all the papers!

The summer days drift by; the hot sun beating down making gardening exhausting, and Ma short-tempered. A gardener’s lot is sometimes hard to bear.