In spite of the ravages wrought by scaffolders, cable-layers, the boots of Members, and the severest drought since 1976, the garden grows.
Lots of people stop to chat unless I keep my head well down. Older ones always complimentary, younger ones want to discuss their own problems.
“Dove’s dung” (Star of Bethlehem given by Jeremy) about to flower! So exciting! Planted honesty and Japanese poppy seeds (brought from Tokyo) at home in seed tray, alongside 10 begonias.
If more people read books like this we might learn to take more care of the world we share with animals and plants – in the words of the Russian cosmonaut quoted in the Epilogue: “It’s a world that is – ‘small and fragile’”.
The robin became so tame he not only ate out of my hand in the garden but would sit on the kitchen table for his breakfast. Grated cheddar was his preference. Once I found him upstairs where he left a small dropping on my side of the bed!
Opening the door to get the milk in, I discovered a disheveled heap of feathers on the mat. Thinking it was an offering from some stray cat, I picked it up gingerly finger and thumbwise, but no, it was a swift in a state of collapse.
Another deterrent to being in the garden are the scores of young language students. The bit of lawn in front of the lime trees is like a giant ash-tray — revolting.
For some reason a huge wireless is placed in the middle of the newly-planted snapdragons. I felt it wise to leave — and not go back till the play’s over.
There has been an encouraging heightening of “garden awareness”. Both the dropping of litter and gratuitous vandalism have decreased during the last year. I write this before the Matriculation Drinks and Bonfire parties.
Chris, Andrew and Sian removed the lilac tree (old and nearly flowerless) in the process of removing one branch – apparently it “fell” down.