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China Girl blog 6th September 2017

Here on the Somerset / Devon border, the passage of time passes slowly. The transcendental effect on the mind soothes the spirit. Mother says the old proverb, “Home is where the heart is”, rings true. The spirit of peace and quiet is all-pervading. Autumn is setting in early and we wait for the leave to begin to fall.

Our new ducks arrived a few days ago. Sixty, thirty for each pond, they help to keep the duck weed and Canadian pond weed at bay. The problem is when a wandering fox feels the pangs of hunger, he helps himself; we would like to have exotic breeds, but the wily fox seems to prefer them to the mallards. Billie, our greedy Labrador, ate one on the first day they arrived, much to the horror of a visitor!

Despite the endless rain, the garden is still full of late colour. The single red dahlia, the Bishop of Llandaff, gives colour to the Bishop Garden. Dahlias originate from Mexico, but in England we have to lift them after the first frost, storing them in a dry shed until the spring as they are frost-tender. The many late-flowering salvias are still in full flower. Salvia fulgens, its dark red flowers like crushed velvet; the red pineapple-scented Salvia elegans, not so spectacular, but a useful addition. The handsome sticky yellow-flowered Salvia glutinosa, growing in Europe from the Alps, east to the Caucasus, here it glows in the yellow garden, which is named Emily’s Garden after Ma’s first grandchild. One of Ma’s favourites is Salvia involucrata, lovely with its pink flowers reaches nearly six feet, has lovely coloured stems. All these salvias give life to the season’s end.

 Mother Dearest says she never known a wetter, colder season and hopes as the days shorten and summer passes, that we might get an Indian summer

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