|Beverley Nichols's garden|
in Allways, Huntingdonshire, England
Now I am transported to 1930s England to a small village which Mr. Nichols calls Allways. He has just purchased - pretty much sight unseen - a thatched cottage on a country lane. He once visited the cottage and remembered the gardens as bursting with blossoms. Not so now. Here is how he describes the garden upon his arrival:
I stepped through the window. Stopped dead. Blinked...Looked again...and the spirit seemed to die within me.
It was a scene of utter desolation. True, it was a cold evening in late March, and the shadows were falling. No garden can be expected to look its best in such circumstances. But this garden did not look like a garden at all. There was not even a sense of order about it. All design was lacking. Even in the grimmest winter days a garden can give an appearance of discipline, and a certain amount of life and colour, no matter how wild the winds nor dark the skies. But this garden was like a rubbish heap.
Oh dear. Mr. Nichols does have his work cut out for him. How wonderful for me. I get to dig about in the garden with him without getting my fingernails dirty.
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