I’m happy to report that yesterday’s garden tour and geranium lecture went extremely well. And little did my guests know that shortly before their visit, a minor catastrophe had been averted.
Earlier that morning, as I climbed the steps of the Serpentine Garden, guess who greeted me? A serpent. Well, a garter snake, anyway. As our eyes locked, he on the top step, me on the step below, I offered him a friendly suggestion, communicated telephathically. “I like you,” I said, “and you are welcome to all of the insects you can find here. But would you kindly make yourself scarce during the tour?” Apparently he listened. No serpent appeared as the group climbed the garden, nor as we stopped to discuss the Korean lilacs, and whether or not they send out “suckers” (they do not).
When the tour finished, and each lady exited the garden gate, a cutting from my rose-scented geranium in hand, I climbed once more the steps of the Serpentine Garden. There, sunning himself in full view on the top step was…my little serpent. He seemed to know that he was safe from those who would, perhaps, shriek at the sight of his black and green loveliness. If only I’d had a camera at that moment; I’d liketo show you how attractive, and innocent, he is.