Wells Voice Article July 2020

The grass has turned green again and the gardening club’s autumn programme of planned events looks very promising at present, but all this could easily be knocked awry by the unforeseen. None of us, I can safely say, expected the Spanish Inquisition. Whether we shall have the pleasure of gathering once more in September to hear Nick Bailey is still very uncertain, or indeed in October.

In the meantime we return to tweaking our own plots and poking into odd corners to satisfy our various whims. One of the curious aspects of this period has been the sort of micro-inspections at ground level we do not normally indulge in; close encounters with the beady eyes of the wood pigeons, the new friendships with the blackbirds, a more tolerant view of plants and insects we regarded as nuisances, and more adventurous rearrangements of a border.

This intensified scrutiny can be put down to a number of reasons. I have a theory that all those talking heads with which we have been bombarded on television are partly responsible. We have begun to disregard the tinny blether and have started to read the titles in the background bookcases, to look critically at the décor, to be amused by those funny knick-knacks which we all have cluttering up the shelves in the spare room.

We have taken the same approach in the garden. Perhaps we have noticed once again the exquisite arrangement of the stamens on the flower head, the ginger hairs on the back of a mining bee, a spider gift-wrapping a hapless fly.

The small things really matter which might mean which might mean that we can take a more relaxed view of what the garden is for. And if we want funny knick-knacks in the garden then let’s have them. Old Chinese proverb: All gardeners know better than other gardeners. And that’s how it should be. High summer is upon us and with a bit of luck we shall be able to swap our garden stories in person in a few weeks’ time. Pip