The Perspective of Plants

I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.

Stephen Hawking


The cottage is in the oldest part of the town on a long and crooked street close to the harbour. Known the world over as the birthplace of Adam Smith the town has had a varied history. It is recorded that it began to thrive in 1763 shortly before the cottage was built and my family first arrived in Scotland. However it was to be another two hundred years before the fates brought the family to the Lang Toon. Reflecting on this as I gazed out the garden door one rainy Sunday I idly wondered what the garden looked like 200 years ago?


Growing close to the kitchen window with yellow matter custard flowers one plant was identified in my plant encyclopaedia as a Kerria Japonica Pleniflora named after William Kerr, the young Kew gardener who discovered it after being seconded to the East India Company in China in 1804.

Commonly known poetically as Japanese Rose it grows beside and through a Russian Vine that tumbles over the old stone wall enclosing the Secret Garden. An article in the Telegraph reports that by 1838 Japanese Rose ‘was so common as to be found in the gardens of even labourers’ cottages’. Perhaps it is too fanciful to imagine that this is descended from an original cottage garden plant but it is so delightfully romantic that I choose to believe it could well be.

And it also puts my worries in perspective.



2 thoughts on “The Perspective of Plants

    • The Royal Horticulture Society think so too and bestowed the Award of Garden Merit {AGM} on it. It’s easy to see why, even on the dullest day it brings a ray of sunshine to the Secret Garden

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