It had all the bones’ and a curiously happy atmosphere: Never had nettles, brambles and bindweed looked so flourishing – to the joy of butterflies. Our first care was to clear the wood of its impenetrable undergrowth. We discovered a stream and a hidden pool.’ No fish, alas, because of the herons. But,’ says Jane philosophically, it was their pool first. In all this work we had the help of the local postman, Ron Thomas, whilst his splendid wife ran the house, which she still does, though the new house and garden are much smaller.’ One of Jane Illingworth’s favourite trees, and one of the first she planted, is a Sheraton Cherry, so called because, clever Notcutts grafted the lovely Shirofugen onto a serrula; glorious in flower and out, with its gleaming mahogany bark. I love all white flowered things.
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