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China Girl blog 8th August 2018

I heard Ma say something unrepeatable as she carried yet another watering can and in so doing, tripped over a spade. She then added “roll on winter!” Dearest told me global warming was nothing to do with the hellish heat, as it had all happened before; it was just the moon turning too fast. Next year we would be back to our lovely English summer and there would be something else to complain about! She added we should learn to expect the unexpected.

As I’ve mentioned before, according to the old Julian calendar, autumn began in August when the harvest was gathered in. The leaves are falling like snow in winter, covering the garden as if it were October; shedding their leaves is a mechanism by which the trees preserve what little water they now have at their disposal.

On the terrace, the summer-flowering white bulbs Galtonia candicans, a native of South Africa, are in full flower; tall and slender, they add interest to the august garden. Best grown in deep moist sandy soil, however they don’t seem to mind our heavy clay soil.

The highlight of the week was the Taunton Flower Show, the oldest in Britain. Ma arrived rather early but managed with the help of an organiser to slip in, as she was to talk on Ten Radio to Pauline Homeshaw about her impression of the show. As usual, it was sell-out, the standard of exhibits up to their usual excellence. A lovely, if not exhausting day out, as the sun shone down like a furnace. Mother as usual spent the week’s house-keeping buying two lovely new clematis and a huge Echeveria, which now sits in a pot in the Inner Court, plus three ferns for our new tiny fernery. Dearest said her best buy was a Julienne peeler for £7! Ma said she could hardly stagger back to her car, she had eaten so many ice creams in an attempt to keep cool.

Back to earthly tasks and the cool of the evening. The brooding landscape waiting for rain; how lucky we are to have a bore-hole.

The inner beauty of Cothay never ceases to amaze; even after a day away, Ma says Mother Earth is always full of surprises, adding she believes in the unbelievable, there is always a surprise in our daily lives.

I was as usual pleased to see my Dearest Mother when she came home; she said I was her favourite flower, with a lovely sooty face.