Taking Stock - July 24, 2014

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It was judgement day this week. No, it wasn’t anything biblical, or even judicial. I’m talking flowers and gardens instead.

Blackpool in Bloom judges were making visits around my neck of the woods, here in Great Marton, and elsewhere.

With our current mix of sunshine and showers, blooms are in full flower along the Fylde coast and ready for inspection.

What a difference those floral displays make to our lives.

They look beautiful, smell sweet and make us feel uplifted.

Surely, as poet Dorothy Frances Gurney observed, we are “nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth”.

Locally, volunteers who make up The Friends of Stanley Park were judging The Saddle Inn and other commercial premises for their colourful hanging baskets, overflowing window boxes and dazzling flower beds. Many private gardens, large and small, were also getting a final sweep and weeding before a visit from the judges.

Edmonds Towers, too, was more than usually 
bedecked with flowers. This, however, was owing to the local butcher who has a big garden and likes to share the produce he loves growing and of which he’s so rightly proud.

“A joint of pork, certainly,” Frank said, adding some rhubarb and cabbage along with an armful of blooms picked early that morning.

“I’ve never seen such beautiful flowers!” remarked a delighted She Who Knows.

We didn’t have a vase vast enough, so now they’re spread around in separate displays of summer’s glory.

Undoubtedly, it is the splendid feeling which such blooms instil that inspires us to dig in and then share their delight with others.

It reminds us of the beauty and wonder of nature; of how we’re each a part of that process, too; and, perhaps most importantly, that life is so much fuller when we work together.

Not a bad outcome on our day of judgement – and a prize we can all enjoy.

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