kiss-me-quick

When I first posted the photo above last autumn, I simply called it “pink flowers” as I didn’t know what the plant was.

Today, though, I put some in a vase for my mother along with foxgloves and other flowers from her garden and she told me it was red valerian or kiss-me-quick.
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wallflowers and garden walls

From Tom’s Midnight Garden – the vast country-house grounds held trapped in the memory of a tiny city backyard – to The Secret Garden, which Mary Lennox discovers with the help of the robin, to The Selfish Giant‘s garden where Spring will not visit while the children are kept out, there’s something magical about walled gardens.
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a lack of biscuits

blue hyacinth close up
When I tweeted that my 888th blog post featured poetry and hyacinths, I was reminded of the quotation:

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

but I couldn’t remember who said it.

Knowing I’d kept it as one of a whole list of poetry-associated quotations, I searched my computer for hyacinths.

It turns out it was Carl Sandburg, though further investigation online suggests he may actually have used the subtly different phrase:

poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

The search for hyacinths also turned up the forgotten draft of a poem.
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unnatural creatures

I should visit my mother more often.

The first good reason for visiting her more often is that she is really quite elderly, having celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year. The second, far more selfish reason, is that I always find ideas when I do visit. Not necessarily ideas for poems, and not necessarily useful ideas, but usually there are oddities and slantwise perspectives that amuse me.

Today I have been hearing a faint alarm sound every 30 seconds or so; I knew it wasn’t the foghorns on the estuary – not least because it has been a gloriously sunny day – and it didn’t seem to be a phone or an alarm clock. When I asked if she had any idea what it might be, my mother denied all knowledge. Eventually, though, we managed to work it out. It’s her new “solar mole repeller”.

solar mole repeller

My mother has had problems with moles in her garden for years now and we have tried all sorts of solutions.
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summer wilderness

house roof see through overgrown weeds
It’s July, the temperatures are in the forties (or the hundreds, if you prefer), school’s out, and the village population has doubled in the last week as families return to their rural properties for the summer months.
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