Sarah Coles

The Garden as Jewellery

‘Daisies are our silver,    Buttercups our gold: This is all the treasure    We can have or hold. Raindrops are our diamonds    And the morning dew; While for shining sapphires    We’ve the speedwell blue. These shall be our emeralds–    Leaves so new and green; Roses make the reddest    Rubies ever seen.’ A hymn by Jan Struther (aka Joyce Maxtone Graham) which we used to sing at school as children, and which has stayed with me ever since. OK the words are so banal and the rhymes so plinkety plonk doggerel that I squirm writing this, yet then I found them...
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Garden in the Sky

Jonquil had to choose between her bedroom with its sky view, and her basement with its garden view, and she chose the first.  I thought she was mad, but now I understand.   I lay in bed, sleepless.  The dark sky became dull gold, then bruised yellow and mauve, then it became a band of brilliant rose against blue, this faded, and it became stippled with little clouds.  It changed each moment.  It was my garden in the sky.  A garden which just arrived, and gave.  Every day different.  Then I fell asleep.
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Winter Iris

All those fancy bearded iris, heavens I’ve tried to grow them – in the sun, in shallowly planted with the rhizomes in their cradles on the soil, but!  Spent a fortune on Cayeux from France.  Useless.  On the farm the rhizomes developed holes as if mites had been in them.  RHS advice was irrelevant.  English/Dutch  iris slightly better, like a water colour painting, and up every year.  Iris sibirica, not much good. But one is flowering now, in the depths of January – Iris unguicularis from Algeria, blue with patches of tiger skin stitched on, and nothing else around.  In the...
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