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China Girl blog 18th May 2017

Like tears drifting in the wind, the faded flowers of the Wisteria Chinensis are blown hither and thither, like a cloud of butterflies drifting in the wind.

Gone for the moment are the few glorious early summer days of last week, to be replaced by cold, wet and windy days, which keeps the visitors away. Mother asked a visitor if he had enjoyed the garden “I only grows what I can eat” he replied. “Where’s your veggy patch?”  Ma took him to the greenhouse and showed him our salad leaves, grown in an assortment of containers – he was not impressed!

The miniature marvels which grow in the scree bed thrive in well-drained gritty soil, emulating their alpine ancestry. These small jewels thrive in this environment. A small spreading ground-covering rose, no more than 3” high. Pelargonium sidoides, its rich coloured flowers sit above blue-green leaves, it grows in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa; coming from high up, it is truly hardy. Tiny dianthus, salvias which like well-drained conditions, emulating their homeland of South America.

Mother’s cat Moses, who is larger than me, was taken to the vet to have his hairy stomach shaved, which he won’t allow Ma to brush. It took three people to get the brute into a basket!

The fragmentary beauty of nature is tantalising, the lovely early yellow Paeonia mlokosewitscheii, known as Molly the Witch, which flowers for only a week, its flowers a translucent pale yellow, as if made of light.

Dearest Mother has been gardening here at Cothay for more than a quarter of a century. When I suggested that she must have achieved her aim, she looked at me as if I had said something stupid. Life, she said, according to Albert Einstein, is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

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