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China Girl blog 9th August 2017

Mother often says this ancient place tugs at her heart. The feeling of happiness and sadness is trapped in the fabric of the old house; here there is an abiding sense of tranquility.

On Friday, Ma went to the Taunton Flower Show. I decided not to accompany her as at these events, I am constantly trodden on. Ma spent a couple of happy hours looking at all the side shows. She bought amongst other plants, three clematis, one particularly beautiful white one with frilly flowers, called Prince George. Ma says you cannot have enough of these beautiful late-flowering clematis.

Again I was left behind when Dearest went to Cornwall to visit her youngest daughter Charlie, who drove her around Cornwall at great speed, visiting sights. She had a lovely time, however she is glad she doesn’t live in windswept Cornwall.

The lavender Hidcote giant, which is about five feet tall, frames the old stone path to the front door; it is a lovely pale blue with blue-grey leaves. At this time of year it is covered with bumble bees collecting nectar. After fifteen years, this lovely plant has become leggy and we will replace it with cuttings taken last year, probably in November, when the soil is at it warmest. Some people prefer to plant in the spring, however the soil is then cold and damp and plants can dampen off, waiting for the warm weather.

Mother and I mourn the passing of summer, even though the garden still holds its own magical self, like a pale thread of colour in an old tapestry.

All the mystery of medieval England lingers in these August days; time floats by, you cannot conquer time.