My marvellous Kent Claret vine ... I bought it from Victoriana Nursery to keep my ever-faithful calendulas company. Friend Wendy recommends the grapes for grape jelly.

Happy harvesting … my Great Auntie Bee's watercolour of farming life as it used to be, painted in 1950.

The creative mind in action … Coppicing days, Pheasants Coppice, Bishopsbourne.

History …In the garden of Serre de la Madonne, Menton. Seems I wasn’t the only admirer.

Happy birthday! ... My 50th Birthday Party 9th September 2010 at Jenny's, also with Hilda, Becca, Vittorio, Robin and Yvonne and Bianca - Caprese Michelangelo, Toscana. A very special day.

Birthday girl ... Mrs G picking flowers on the morning of her 80th Birthday, a few seconds before she realised that I had arrived.

Here's Robert Graham's new poem for a new year.



Snowdrops in January

In crowns beneath the leafless trees,
Like refugees constrained on seas,
You light the lanes and corridors,
On catkin’d, coppiced, forest floors.

Between your arms of green you chime,
The quiet song of wintertime,
Surprising those on winter ways,
And greeting some from older days.

From Syria some of you come,
And some from cedar’d Lebanon,
Tulip’d Turkey, Azerbaijan,
Or tiled and turquoise Isfahan.

Montenegro and torn Ukraine,
Franciscan valley, pilgrim’d Spain,
Then, following the melting snow,
In to our Earth, once more you go.

From Ural foothill folklore came,
Another gift that eases pain,
A scientific healing balm,
Galanthamine - dementia charm.

Now time has made you native here,
Ringing in our flowering year,
So welcome snowdrop, milk-flower strong,
Whatever land you once came from.

As many from these snowdrop lands,
And others from snowdrop-less sands,
Constrained in crowns on leaky boats,
Tonight may spin on Europe’s moats.
- Robert Graham



Roberto reads the poem, here ⇒⇒ ⇒⇒

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2 i 2019

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