Monday, 25 July 2011

stopping and thinking

Days pass, weeks pass..... more fun in the field and some trauma elsewhere but life continues and flowers are definitely the best therapy, it's amazing how I can be feeling a bit worried about things then I go out and start picking, weeding, making up bunches and I'm happy. Maybe I'm just a truly shallow human being but I do think it's more that flowers have the ability to transcend normal cares and genuinely make anyone feel good.  They are beautiful....

I had a lovely day at Barnsley House with their flower team on Tuesday, making suggestions about the styles of arrangements for the house using flowers and foliage from their own gardens. It made me smile slightly to think how the late Rosemary Verey had been very polite but a tad condescending on the occasions when I interviewed her (in what now seems a previous life!) and now here I am with a pair of snips and willing helpers plundering her gardens. The head gardener there, Richard, is doing a great job under sometimes less than easy circumstances, and I was particularly taken with his sidekick Ed's interpretation of what should now go in the potager. I plundered some rat's tail radish pods for seed!

More weddings, last weekend was a lovely affair at a church in Malvern and then at the glorious Hellens House, one of the most stunning houses in Britain in my opinion. I have the biggest lilies imaginable in the garden, truly monstrous things over 6 foot tall with stems like trunks, so I find them a little hard to place but Meg said we just had to use them so she managed to get them to look wild enough with a huge complement of ammi and phlox and veronicastrum and suchlike. meanwhile I had to restrain myself from serious nausea in the van as I'm afraid I don't usually use lilies not just because of their trad associations but because the scent makes me heave.....

Now I really really do not want to be rude to people and I felt terribly mean when a delightful interesting and interested lady who had booked on my course, that I had to cancel because of running up and down to visit my mother, came to look around (pre-arranged and very welcome) and I really was too busy and also too exhausted to give her the time that she should have had, though Dianne did a great job showing her and her friend round. She and her friend were charming and very understanding but I wish I had been more sociable. But sometimes people surprise me, not in a good way.

Ok the rant: This morning I received a message on my landline answerphone from a woman who knows someone whom I vaguely know and asked if she could come and look at the gardens and see what I was growing and would I please get back to her. So I put her number on the pile of "to do later" things, not thinking it was in the slightest bit urgent and got on with a busy day here. Well blow me down some time just after lunch when I was in the office organising labels for mail outs the woman appears. And asks to look around. I told her she had put me in an impossible situation because despite the fact she was here I was going to say No and if she had waited for me to call her back I would have told her No because we are too busy to show people round just because they feel like coming to see what's happening here, that there are reasons why I'm not having an Open Day this year (not just personal stuff but parking issues and because we have just been so busy I don't want to devote extra necessary time to clearing up and that really does need to happen before an Open Day) but I hope to have a fab one next year..... Anyway, to cut a long story short I didn't show her round as I was anyway in the middle of doing the mail outs but more from the principle. But when I told her that, and that this is a business and not an open garden, she was not daunted and informed me that she knew it was a business and she was coming for business reasons because she wanted to get ideas for what she could grow to sell. Honestly, some people are a little extraordinary....I wondered how she would feel if I turned up at her house because I'd heard from someone who vaguely knew her that she was doing something I fancied having a go at and wanted to go and check it out. And now I probably have a big black mark against me by a sector of the Herefordshire society to whom she belongs and I'm sorry about that but I can't spread myself any thinner than I do already some days, and we do show lots of people around - all our wedding customers of course and many many other purchasers and friends of friends, but I just can't drop everything just because someone wants to come and have a peer. I'm sorry if it seems rude, but it just is the way it is.


  1. There is nothing like working with flowers to lift your spirits.

    I love the first photograph with the flowers on the gate.

  2. Great rant, I'm with you all the way! Claire