Oh to be in England

Oh to be in England
now that Aprils there,
And, whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
(from Robert Browning’s Home Thoughts From Abroad)

Such a lovely morning that I started the day with a walk round one of Ludlow’s secret gems. I love an old garden, and the Mascal Centre’s is in full Spring time fig. The beds which border the car park are the boundary of the old buildings, and have had time to become embedded with mature shrubs and plants.The horse chestnut by the gate is older than the school, which was opened in 1857. Apparently the wall was built around its trunk. How many children have sat under its summer shade and played conkers from its largesse in Autumn?

All the spring flowers are pushing through the young foliage of annuals, making a dappled tapestry for the birds to flirt in. They are making such a racket now that the sound of passing traffic is just a background hum.

All of this casual beauty takes hard work to plant, maintain and control. When we were younger, we too had a flower filled garden. I was afflicted with that mild complaint of “Planta Must Have’em” suffered by the avid plant collector, and my long suffering partner would have the job of looking after the new arrivals, as well as the lion’s share of its maintenance. I just weeded a bit and stood on the side lines watching gratefully.


Seems the Mascal Centre have some compliant helpers too. I sat in the sun for a while gazing over towards a wooded bank, whose name I don’t know and was grateful that the developers hadn’t managed to get hold of this piece of estate. The white blossom fluffed and billowed, in most Houseman-like way. I suppose they are cherry trees, or are they romantically Shropshire Plum?



This bush of Bachelor’s Buttons has just been “let” to some discerning bird, a nest is concealed behind these wonderful yellow pom-poms, a frilled hurrah for warmer days and tea in the garden.

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