COME INTO THE GARDEN. THERE IS A GENTLEMAN I WOULD LIKE YOU TO MEET.

His name is Norman. He is the benevolent guardian of our vegetable garden. It is important one shares your garden with those of like minds. This growing of vegetables is a journey. The digging and turning of black, rich soil. Hoeing and raking again and again. The quiet contemplation as rows are staked and marked. The planting and nurturing of seedlings. This is the quiet joy. The happiness. This process. This is why we garden. Not just for the harvest but the simple doing of it.

Norman, gentleman scarecrow is elegantly dressed. Gloriously attired in a black blazer. His straw bow tie adorned with a diamond stick pin. Norman is thoughtfully and caring. Look closely you’ll see he is respectfully wearing a tiny orange poppy.

Obviously this is no ordinary run of the farm scarecrow. I have intriguing conversations with my garden sentinel. My discussions are are mostly about books. I sometimes bring a book out to the garden and read aloud. Norman tells me he hasn’t much of a brain but he does make gnomic comments about my choice of literature. And one day I heard him quote Lewis Carroll “the time has come”, the walrus said, “to talk of many things: of ships – and sealing wax – and cabbages and kings”.

I watch Norman from my kitchen window. There’s a gentle breeze blowing from the river. It is lifting the brim of his straw hat. There are beets and broccoli growing at his feet.

. Bright orange Calendula flowers have escaped from the butterfly-bee garden and are strolling through the the rows of onion. Nasturtiums are jealously trying to join them. Tomatoes, snug in their plastic palace, are reaching for the sky.

Norman would like you to come into the garden.