Saturday, 20 June 2015

Song of the Birds


AS summer emerges here on the Fylde coast of Lancashire, I've been tidying the gardens at Edmonds Towers in Great Marton.
It was She Who Knows who inspired their transformation, some years ago, from a concreted car park and area for rubbish bins.
Now, when the sun shines, we can lounge on our raised lawn by a cottage-garden flower bed, or take to the shade of a parasol on a sunken patio, surrounded with hanging baskets, wall flowers and potted plants.
We are only overlooked by mature sycamores, laburnums and a towering poplar, so can put up our feet, sip a cooling drink and read in peace.
While doing so, I recall those poetic thoughts handwritten on an envelope in the 1920s and found in a visitors' book at a stately home in Kent. Its author was hymn writer Dorothy Frances Gurney. Her full poem is entitled 'God's Garden'. The penultimate verse is often seen on garden plaques and ornaments:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on Earth.

How sad to see many gardens now being block-paved for parking. Our own has seen the reverse, with a concrete car port now covered in artificial grass. But the wildlife we welcome is real enough, those birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees attracted by flowering bushes and hedgerows of ivy and honeysuckle.

There are more reflections on gardens on our Poem page, while Memoir transports us still further - to the battle-scarred beauty of Vietnam.  Hopefully, our Books and Story/Chapter pages will also refresh spirits and open windows on different worlds.
Publications are sampled free and available through the Books page, on Kindle and in paperback sponsored by the British Arts Council. Any sales fund this non-profit-making website.
So, enjoy your summer and . . .
Happy reading!
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