Archive for August 2nd, 2012

An amazing group of ladies came to visit the garden today. The extraordinary and entirely outrageous Worthing Blueberry Muffins chapter of the Red hatters tripped into the tea shop in a variety of hues but predominantly purple and red. The purple actually synced quite well with some of the predominant colours of the garden at the moment. But it was wonderful to see them inching through the plantings, in full sail like an armada, with their red hats like dancing pennants. Sometimes unseen (but audible like a flock of birds) and then a flash of red through the hazy grasses and swirls of colour.

They purport to be women of a certain age(over 50) who take it upon themselves to trip around the country visiting all sorts of places , not just gardens, but the underlying theme has to be one of enjoyment, and I rather suspect, delicious indulgence ,as they made short  shrift of the courgette and apple and apricot cakes on the terrace.

It is a world-wide organisation spanning many continents and seems to be a wonderfully flamboyant bit of fun.It is all about growing old disgracefully and  not at all about “wearing the bottoms of their trousers rolled” ! (sorry TS Elliot !)  These ladies I promised to mention by name , as they all take on personae as befits their character. So we have Princess Protea,Duchess Esme,Madame Gigi (intriguing),Lady Jules,Lady Chatterley (real surname happens to be Mellors so her name could be nothing but!)Baroness Bustickle (saucy!) Scarlet Poppy,and Goddess of the Glen .Some of the hats were positively bizarre but I loved the fun and fantasy of it all.

Apparently it all goes back to a poem by a lady called Jenny Joseph who apparently is distancing herself from the whole chabang.

Here is the first part of the poem which I hope that Jenny will not mind me reproducing…. google her and her poem and find the rest for yourself !


“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens .”

Didn’t see them picking any flowers .. but you never know !

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