I thought it was emerging quite well - what with the
and flowering Sage;
the bright green Mint
- and Hollyhocks growing tall (with buds on);
and the one-day-it-will-be-purple Clematis,
the Marigolds and Californian Poppies;
and the Buttercups looking very sunny and cheerful;
the Dandelion too -
(which I cut around when I neaten the edge)
(I mean 'sort of neaten' - 'neaten' is an imprecise word).
And, best of all, the Globe Artichoke being nearly two foot high and spreading its arms gracefully
(as if it's already the star of the show,
as if it's already dominating the stage)
embracing the black fly;
- the black fly which are gone
- the black fly which have abandoned its withered and forlorn body as coldheartedly as if it were Thomas a Becket.
I forgive the slugs - the slugs which decimated yet another tuft of chives over night. They were doing what slugs do - decimate.
That my favourite blade of grass has been flattened - well, footballs are nature.
But why, Ceres, Robert and Cadis, did you wrench the Artichoke from its place?
Why did you snap its tap root?
Why did you offer its sap to the morning sun? let the heat suck its life until it resembled nothing more than a pile of old broccoli?
Even the ants are bewildered. They are running up and down its veins - looking for . . . for . . . blackfly? Carting them elsewhere?
(Memory fades. I'm no longer sure they were blackfly.)
Watch out Dicksonia Antarctica - you're about to move to a bigger pot.
The runt of spare Artichokes will be given yours.
With careful tending, it too may have its day.
Then - I'm going to see Mrs Smith.
I've had enough of her sour milk and her weak tea and her plant wrecking, rubbish throwing, whoever-heard-of-your-stupid-little-planets-anyway children.