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I’m torn between the serious minded, or humour. To spin a yarn, or to write a weightier tribute to the aesthetic intricacies and endless variations of plants and gardens.

I leave the studio late on Monday night under a half moon and the sound of a Cetti’s warbler nearby and in the morning I return to early spring smells, the dawn chorus and a cuckoo cuckooing out there, somewhere. And I laugh out loud. “How can I compete with nature?” Anything I record is at best a verisimilitude at worst a pastiche. So it has to be humour but deep down inside me is a tinkling that I would love to be a botanist, or dendrologist. I’m as undecided as when my elder brother would exclaim while readying for a party, “why bother, you’re no flower!” And now my children proclaim as fact, “but dad you’re a delicate flower, that’s why!”

Where I am certain, is an understanding and belief in nature is the key to why life is.

Mark Cator, Visitor to our Garden, 2016, from Garden, Issue 4 of Utter Journal

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