My roost far from madding crowd
‘One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else of earth’, so the popular adage goes. The poem was originally found written in a visitor’s book at a stately home.
Our humbler back garden, here in Great Marton, has been a delight of late. This was thanks not only to the ‘kiss of the sun’, or the mirthful ‘song of the birds’, but to their bumbling chicks too.
Even our garden arch blowing over in last week’s gales, bringing down honeysuckle and roses, hasn’t interrupted daily sightings of the blackbird chicks, nor our pair of robins clearly reluctant to disappear as usual for summer.
It was former Gazette country writer and sadly missed friend Jack Benson (pictured) who explained avian behaviour to me. The blackbird’s chorus would not be heard into summer, nor my favourite - the robin - sighted again until autumn. This was because the former had established his home, while the other was holidaying in woodland.
Perhaps there’s not enough forest around any more, or my garden is getting wilder, but our robins are welcome to stay as long as they wish.
Also, the blackbirds will soon lack any energy for singing, so demanding are those fluffy chicks currently bumbling about our garden wearing worried countenances upon unsure wings.
Thanks to our huge ivy hedge, battled annually by itinerant gardener Joe, we also have darting, dazzling blue-tits nesting with us, chirpy sparrows and reclusive wrens. I shoo away pigeons, wood-cocks and magpies, but not too fiercely – live and let live we say.
While the madding crowds jeer and cheer over soccer’s Russian roulette, we’re content in a natural haven here on our lovely Fylde coast.
For, after all that feverish sporting clamour is over, it is in a comforting garden where, as poet Dorothy Frances Gurney rightly observed, ‘The soul of the world found ease’.
• Read Roy’s books at royedmonds-blackpool.com, Kindle or Waterstones.