Surely it cannot be all change just yet? And I do not mean
the political situation I mean the season. We are hardly into our summer
holidays, but the signs are there. Only yesterday my Yorkshire cousins told me that
their barley harvest will be starting soon. And I see that the berries are
ripening on my mountain ash and the blackbirds are already there with greed in
In the garden our cherries are ready as are the blueberries,
they are gleaming temptingly on our breakfast table every morning. Our bowls are
overflowing with bright fruit. The signs of subtle season change are coming
whether we are ready or not.
The grass in Oak Meadow is changing from lush green to tall
yellow drying seed heads in the wind. The farmers are changing from silage
making to hay bales. But Oak Meadow is full of creatures and will be left
untouched for many weeks. I walked the path today, ahead of me grasshoppers
jumped and I could hear their calls. The males are clicking their song, to
attract females, with serrated legs rubbing against their wings.
The butterflies I saw were all brown. The floppy meadow-brown
with its big wings flew low from one purple flowered knapweed to another. I saw
the dark ringlet butterfly too. It hides in the shadow near the north facing
hedge. There are no bright reds yet jewelling the borders.
But one very bright object is our hanging basket. I have
never been a big fan of these baskets I think of them in towns trying to
compete for Britain in Bloom, and not in our free flowing, go-as-you-will,
garden. But this year was different – isn’t everything these days? We weakened
and bought a hanging basket with its formulaic arrangement from a garden
centre. It is not even a basket it is a plastic pot with three plastic strands and
a hook at the tip. How could we?
I remember when I bought my first house, I decided that I
needed a hanging basket. Off I went to the garden centre in Shrewsbury. But in
those days, you mostly bought the basket separately, then the moss in a bag and
then you selected the individual plants. I was at a loss until a man with a
pipe in his mouth and his shirt sleeves rolled up came to help. In no time at
all I was kitted out and went home triumphant.
It was only later as I marvelled at the bountiful beautiful basket
that I realised it was Percy Thrower himself who had helped me. I am not sure
that this could happen so unobtrusively these days.
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)