On the last day of our holiday it rained. Man alive did it rain. And it kept it up all blinking day as well.

Being housebound we were all prowling around inside looking for amusement and diversion, when I discovered “Let’s Garden” by Enid Blyton on some bookshelves.

It’s not a book I have come across before, despite my addiction to the things. Published in 1948 it is very much of its time in terms of language, and has illustrations by William McLaren of the kind which I suspect it is mandatory to describe as charming, .
There are about twenty chapters starting with those on preparing garden, soil etc, and then moving into subjects like growing plants, rose pruning
taking cuttings, even one on what to plant in a shady bed.

My favourite though is “Some Queer Things Explained” which has sub-chapters – Why leaves fall, Why leaves change colour, What is a fairy ring, What is an oak apple? What is gossamer, Why does mistletoe grow on an oak tree.
The last one seemed appropriate as there was mistletoe all over the place in the part of France where we were, but was also a bit misleading. After all mistletoe doesn’t really grow on oaks. At least not very often. Common in apples and popular in poplars – but not on oak – which was of course why druids took oak-grown examples to have special power. This brought to mind Asterix and the magic potion, and then in turn telling Little Boots about blackthorn and the like, a few days earlier.

There are lots of gardening books for children/families (though many are not as good as Enid’s). Is there perhaps scope for one about some of our native flora? Not so much centered on the identification, but the rich history and lore attached to such plants.

I can’t recall one. This then made me think on a bit further. Perhaps I could write one?
Hmmm.

That might be a pipedream, but it also might be one I’d like to explore further.

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