Revisited this garden, a fragile wilderness.
The day is cold and wet. The past week has been cold and wet too. On cue, as if this interlude has divine approval, some benign force begrudgingly squeezes 2 hours' of sunshine into an inhospitable afternoon. Later as I leave, sleet falls again. It seems appropriate.
We visitors make a polite circuit of the garden, stepping daintily to avoid the pools of coloured flowers, unsure of what there is to admire in this wild place. Gaudy garden cultivars have met their delicate country cousins - the cowslip and primrose. They've interbred and spread across lawn and plot - so yellow, orange, red and rusty flowers are strewn underfoot between the pretty Bird's Eye Speedwell making a jewelled and mossy carpet. We watch our feet but forget, at our peril, to look out for the branches and briars that whip and snatch at shoulder level.
No change in the garden; nature continues to reclaim this once productive plot. It is green, chaotic and uncontrived. Its elderly keepers hover uncertainly amongst their curious visitors. One brother confides that this will be, perhaps, the last......maybe.......and his faint 0ld-man-voice trails away. Will the brambles and the beautiful earth reclaim him too?
That said, we go and drink our tea and buy raffle tickets under the watchful photographic eyes of sepia ancestors.
A clock ticks.