Flowers for a cricket tea

Flowers for a cricket tea.

It is the ultimate picture of the classic English summer's afternoon: the sight of people dressed in white, sloping over a beautifully-mown pitch, the clock of leather on willow, lazy applause from under the horse-chestnut trees, a club house with a veranda on which a glorious tea is laid. And posies of fresh-cut country flowers, popped in jugs and jars along that cricket-tea table.

And just because a cricket match is to take place in London town, and the congregation (surely the right word?) will be sitting on raked stands rather than under trees, and the competition perhaps a little fierce, and the 'howzats!' loud, and the laziness of the country village version of the same may be missing, there's still the ceremony of the cricket tea.

And the wise club captain knows that without really good English country flowers, cut fresh from an English country garden, there will be something fundamental missing from the proceedings.

And so we make posies for the last word in smarty pants cricket teas. And we give them little reservoirs of water, and we send them, three to a box, carefully wrapped to London, where they will be popped in small stoneware pots which we found for the occasion and put on the tables ready for tea.

And when people see them I hope the raked stands fade away, and it's as though the ground is surrounded by the deep shade of horse chestnut trees, the congregation are sitting on deck chairs, and the famous century somebody scores is clapped proudly, happily, but also lazily, as the bees hum, and the swallows dip, and the sun arcs slowly over towards pims o'clock.