The house and garden are a powerful emotion; they are Mother’s battlefield, she feels a prisoner of both. When she is away, even for a short space of time, she yearns to return, even though there is generally a problem. Some repairs needing attention, a broken roof tile, a blocked gutter causing damp which had gone unnoticed. And so it goes on; it is a way of life, a reason to rise each morning and rejoice in our fortune to live in a house that is a doorway into the past.
After a week, Jan has at last left hospital to convalesce; she is certainly not yet well enough to return to work. Robert, who runs the Christmas Fair has been helping with the aid of Vivien, who has been a tower of strength.
Chris and Rose have planted up the pots with early flowering tulips. In the large font on the main lawn were planted about a hundred bulbs in two layers; despite the different depths, they all seem to flower together.
Hedging and cutting back the borders is an ongoing task; so much to do, it’s really the busiest time of year preparing for next season.
The glory piece in the garden are the beautiful pink Nerines, a bulb from South Africa, their vibrant flowers giving a splash of colour to the dreary November days. A native of South Africa in the eastern cape, and north to the Drakensberg Mountains, where they grow in great quantities on cliffs and rocks. In England they are best planted against a warm wall.
No star fades faster than the dying garden, which always reminds Mother of the Greek tragedy when Orpheus descended into the underworld in search of his beautiful wife Eurydice, after she had been fatally bitten by a snake and died. And we are left with our memories of the past season’s beauty.