In one of the finest examples of British comedy, Percy while seeking the secret of alchemy, accidentally discovers something entirely different. He is amazed, "Can it be true? That I hold here in my mortal hand, a nuggest of purest green?" Of course, Blackadder is quick to deflate his aspirations; "You know what your great discovery means, don't you, Percy? That you, Percy, Lord Percy, are an utter berk."
But I have always been enamoured of the colour green - one of the finest and most versatile hues that speaks of growth and joy and birth and celebration. I think of May Queens and Thomas Hardy and pastoral ditties and all things fresh.
Walking into Arrowtown from my house I am struck by the branches (not literally - that would be painful) that form a gnarled guard of honour. I feel welcomed and protected by this green gauntlet.
And aren't we always being told that greens are good for you? (And reds and purples too, apparently) My friend, the Green Goddess, has a charming veggie garden. She is also a superb cook and works wonders with her home-grown produce. Even before it is turned into delicious dishes, however, the culinary artefacts are well-worth photographing.
I couldn't stay long in the hot house where the tomatoes are rapidly ripening. I thought I might too and be quickly past my sell-by date.
Once again I fall back on a quote from William Morris - “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” The Green Goddess has applied this to her garden. When I asked her why she grew the sunflowers - was it for the seeds or was she going to make her own oil? - she was slightly coy. "Well, I suppose I did grow them for the seeds, but they just look so nice, don't they?" Indeed they do.
Presiding over this wholesome scene is Lupin, the seen-better-days gnome. He looks happy in his flowerpot, but he may soon have a new home. More of him later.