Ma says what a wonderful world we live in, adding she feels that here deep in the heart of Somerset the pagan element is often in control.
Much of the world is covered in green, it is the silver lining of life. The colour of nature in all its wondrous shades, from brilliant emerald to the delicate magic and softness of misty shadows that make up the diversity of blends of green on earth. The green-flowered Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, brought back by Ma’s husband’s great-grandmother from Turkey a hundred or so years ago, when she was travelling after her husband’s death in the east. She spotted by the roadside, this Euphorbia; she told her dragaman to dismount and fetch the plant, as they had used up all their plant containers. For safe keeping, she stowed the plant in her bonnet, after which it was always known as Mrs Robb’s Bonnet.
We had this week to stay, a charming German girl. She had written whilst working at Wisley, a dissertation on perennials, a close study researching longevity and the spread of ornamental herbaceous perennials. We were glad we didn’t live in Germany, not only because of the climate, but because of the wolves who after 150 years, had migrated from Russia, through Poland into Germany, where there are now over 50 packs. They would make short shift of a small Pekingese such as me!
The mulberry tree Morus nigra which Mother planted years ago is now about 20 feet tall, where it grows in the Inner Court. This year it is laden with its bitter-sweet fruit, which the birds love, as does Mother. The mulberry tree has been grown in Asia since remote times, less on account of its fruit, than for its leaves, upon which silkworms feed. Silk of better quality however, is produced by silk worms fed upon the white mulberry Morus alba. The first tree was probably planted in England in 1548 at Sion House in London.
Where you live and what you do casts its influence over you. How easy on the eye is the lush green of our beloved Somerset, in which we live.