Sarah Coles


In the garden’s early morning, golden wires lead to heaven. Iridescent webs shimmer.    Single leaves spin mid-air, hung suspended from invisible lines. Chief spider is Araneus diadematus – its diadem is a cross shaped filigree pattern on its abdomen – you can just see it here.  The web is sticky, hung with eviscerated tiny flies, and the threads which hold it to bushes, trees or buildings and along which it abseils down to a corner are not. Why on television and books people do get so excited and partisan, taking sides with prey or attacker, the eater or the eaten as if in a football...
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What to Grow on Dry, Shady, Chalky Soil. My water garden was a large metal bowl on the patio, and in it grew a miniature water lily, golden grass and one or two other watery things. Then one winter it sprang a leak, and all I was left with was a mud filled bowl. Not that far away was a dull, dry patch, mostly earth and chalk lumps, where grass would hardly grow, overhung by shrubby things screening a fence. Suddenly it dawned. Of course, fernery. I placed the bowl in the middle of this patch, filled it with earth, and planted it with miniature harts tongue ferns from Hilliers. Around it I planted a...
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Green September

  Why do people claim there’s no colour when there’s every shade of green around?  Just look!  True, there’s less variety – the buttercup leaves of Gleditsia triacanthos are now greened up with chlorophyll, and the golden Sambucus is mottled like a snakeskin, and the pale felted leaves of my whitebeam curl brown at the edges, but the others!  The Sophora (the Chinese Scholar’s Tree – love that name) is still a dainty umbrella of lozenges, and the marbled leaves of the cyclamen Neapolitan spread in little fringed circles under the trees beneath pink and white flowers. Beneath its...
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