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China Girl blog 3rd May 2018

Ma sometimes says even if she lives for a hundred years, the garden will never be finished; it has a beginning but will never have an end. Just as we thought the worst of the weather was over, the cold and wet came back. The weather this past winter and spring has been of biblical proportions, at times we felt it almost unendurable. The cold for the last few days meant we had to revert to shutting the greenhouse windows at night. Thank goodness we couldn’t remember how to turn the central heating off, despite Guy our plumber drawing diagrams. It seems never a week passes without having to call Guy out. Last week the old system couldn’t cope with the film crew’s use of the loos. Guy said her would show Ma how to unblock them if it happened again, but Ma used an unrepeatable word and she decided she wouldn’t train as a plumber in her next life!

The lovely film crew are still working away, turning beloved Cothay upside down. Ma can hardly bear to go into the garden; as the lawns grow even longer, she holds her breath as more plastic flowers adorn our beautiful wild meadow. Drifting in the spring breeze, flowering throughout the garden are the early self-seeding poppies, their yellow petals like crumpled silk. They have about them a fragile air, reminiscent of fairies from childhood tales of long ago.

On Friday Dearest went to Powderham Castle for their Spring Plant Fair; it poured with rain all day long. She visited her favourite nursery men, her hands were so cold and wet, she gave up shopping, unable to get her money out of her mackintosh pocket.

At long last the garden is greening up. You can almost hear the sap rising as the trees leaf up, but the cold wind blows the cherry blossom far and wide, their petals drifting like scattered dreams, as we dream of summer days.