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China Girl blog 19th April 2018

A faint echo of the past lingers in the air as we wait for the magic of spring. Life is about enjoying the present moment. For we are never as unhappy as we think we are, and never as happy as we would like to be. The weather this week has forced us yet again into the greenhouse for two days, potting on and pricking out seedlings, whilst we wait for the rain to stop.

Usually by this time last year, we have long since collected all the hazel to weave around the herbaceous plants. On Wednesday we ventured with Chris and Rose to the woods to cut the pea sticks for staking. Ma was caught for the first time in 20 years by the owner of the copse and had to do a lot of grovelling and apologising for trespassing! I am very glad I had stayed at home!

Much against Ma’s better dithering judgement, clearing of the small glade behind the Tearoom has been accomplished. All the dead trees, bramble and ivy has been burnt and sprayed, and the area cleared. The plan is to plant it up with shade-loving plants like snowdrops, bluebells, ferns and perhaps a few magnolias, turning the small area into a wild woodland, through which runs a stream which feeds the reflection pond.

I have been a trifle poorly as the vet removed a cyst from my back and I was forced to wear a dog babygrow to stop me scratching! Ma says I have lost my joi de vivre; no wonder, as I itch all over!

A sure sign of spring is the flowering of the beautiful Magnolia stellata. These small ethereal magnolias were named in the 17th century by a French botanist, Pierre Magnol. A genus of about 80 species, native of central and North America, Eastern Asia, and  the Himalayas. Cold winds and late frosts are apt to damage the early flowers and young growth. What a glorious advert to spring are these special trees.

When my Dearest Mother complains about problems, I remind her that nothing ever goes wrong, things just go in unforeseen directions. She didn’t agree!

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