Human Flower Project
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Species Roses ~ Early Birds
John Levett’s name is on Hitchen Cup, but eyes, hands, and mind are on this spring’s old roses. Thank you, and congratulations, John!
The best year ever for Rose hugonis ‘Cantabrigiensis’
Photo: John Levett
By John Levett
If a man cannot enjoy the return of spring, why should he be happy in a labour-saving Utopia?… I think that by retaining one’s childhood love of such things as trees, fishes, butterflies and…toads, one makes a peaceful and decent future a little more probable. —“Some Thoughts on the Common Toad”
I think someday I should write a piece on Orwell and nature. My forever-favourite of Orwell’s writings is ‘Coming Up for Air’ with its prosaic opening: “The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth.” There begins his journey back to Lower Binfield of his childhood “… before the radio, before aeroplanes, before Hitler.” I’m sure Orwell included much of his own childhood in these passages, particularly the fishing memories.
I was reminded of Orwell’s domestic routines by the recent publication of Peter Davison’s editions of Orwell’s diaries and letters. I still cherish memories of the first publications edited (stringently) by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus of his collected essays, journalism and letters from the sixties, each volume bought at birth with the ink still tacky. Davison’s are more comprehensive and don’t spare us Orwell’s flaws.