Last night I gave a lecture to the fine folk of West Down Horticultural Society. Last year they came sent a reconnaissance party under the premise that they wanted a tour of the garden and apart from their weakness for pudding they won me over with their fun and friendly nature. So in a moment of weakness brought on by extreme relief that they had been such a good audience, traipsing gamefully behind me up and down dale, hugging trees and even laughing at my jokes, that I agreed to give a talk in April, which at the time seemed a long way in the future. There was the winter and Christmas and all that stuff to worry about in the interim, if the back boiler had a back boiler that is exactly where I put it. Of course, as these things are wont to do, the date snuck up on me and suddenly here we were back in the panic zone. Hero had to listened to me practicing latin names and drone on and on about how I forgotten even my name. As it was, there was a good turn out, everyone was kind and on time (although Hero kept us guessing) and as far as I could see no one nodded off. You can’t ask more than that.
Today I was reminded why I have the best job in the world, well some days anyway. Memories of rain, wind, cold and beasties were dimming. Friends visited, some even brought gifts (plants of course). The sun shone, the sky was blue and I discovered that the Echium pininana that have over wintered outside are full of flower buds. Upwards and onwards!