Thursday, July 21, 2005

Old and Young, Bumble Bee, Straight and Curled

In Calverley Park, where there used to be tennis courts, there is a croquet club adjoining a court where basket ball is played. There were players on both engaged in their respective sports. On the croquet lawn, there was no one under the age of sixty ; on the basket ball court, no one over the age of twenty.

Among this year's nasturtiums, a new variety called Moonlight. In the evening light a bumble bee in search of pollen, ignored all the other flowers and chose Moonlight. It buried itself headfirst in each corolla until only the end of its abdomen, quivering a little with its exertions, was visible. It then moved on to the next until it had tackled all the Moonlight flowers.

In the past I have tried to grow sweetpeas according to the book, ie prune surplus shoots and tendrils and tie each stalk to a stake. You are supposed to get single blooms at the end of long stems. Fine for garden shows, but the uniformity is tedious, like fruit of the same size in supermarkets. This year, the sweet peas curl and twist and, arranged in a vase, are far more interesting.

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