Then time for a cup of tea and a slice of apple and almond cake in the beautiful setting of the Port Eliot Orangery to the accompaniment of a string quartet.
Back to my bench in the Flower Show marquee for Mary Keen talking about Alice Oswald's flowers and introduced by Cathy St Germans.
The gardener's outnumbered the poets so Mary geared her talk towards horticulture but interspersed with recordings of Alice Oswald reading several poems from Weeds & Wildflowers.
It was good to hear Mary endorse the Rambling Rector, a vigorous climbing rose that we have had in abundance and which I love, but which Bookhound chops down when I'm not looking, claiming risk of structural damage. Yes, he's right, it will take a roof off apparently.
Still that Rector undaunted and resilient returns year on year.
The secret of all cultivation seems to be about knowing your soil and I have to admit I'm not that well-acquainted with ours, not its consistency, nor its acidity.The next secret is to get mud on your hands, which I don't really like doing either, but it was good to hear that both Mary and Alice share a love of the snowdrop and magical to then hear Alice reading that poem...
A pale and pining girl, head bowed, heart gnawed,
whose figure nods and shivers in a shawl
of fine white wool, has suddenly appeared
in the damp woods, as mild and mute as snowfall.
She may not last. She has no strength at all,
but she stoops and shakes as if she'd stood all night
on one bare foot, confiding with the moonlight...