Flower farm on telly
Sometimes we just have a really fun day, for the fun of it. And today was just one such.
Some weeks ago a chap called Charlie from Escape to the Country called to say they wanted to film the flower farm for inspiration for a lovely couple moving from Essex to Somerset, and could we show them our wild flower meadows? Well, we love nothing more than to show people our meadows, and hopefully inspire them to grow a bit of meadow for themselves. And so this morning a cheery team appeared and we filmed all over the garden and the meadow, collecting seed, sniffing the sweet peas, looking at the wild orchids, talking about wilding projects near and far, and how a wildflower meadow helps feed all the food chain, us included, because, as Fabrizio always says, if you look after the invertebrates the rest of the food chain will look after itself.
It was great to see Common Farm Flowers a little bit through other peoples' eyes - and what these people saw and comented on were the bees and the butterflies. Suddenly I saw them afresh too. I know I get nose blind to the scent of sweet peas: clearly I get eyeblind to the wild life we have humming about the place.
I found myself pointing out the bumble bees working the teazle, found a ghost spider climbing about grass heads, and we all stared amazed at the cloud of cabbage white butterflies working the wild carrot in the meadow. And the faces of the visitors when I shook the ...! No I think you'd better wait for the programme for that bit of the story.
It was a day of lessons for me as well as our visitors: I remembered how amazing this place is, and how lucky we are to live here, and that if we don't retire millionaires (we won't retire millionaires!) we can still be very proud of the rich environment we've encouraged here on this little patch of Somerset.
One of my favourite lines in Out of Africa, when the bank manager asks Karen Blixen why she doesn't move the Kikuyu people, who live also on land where she lives, off that land, is her reply, 'Because they live there.' And I feel like that about the birds and bees and butterflies who live here as much as I would about any population of people. If we have made an environment where such a variety of wildlife can flourish, then we've done a good thing.