memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner


I first fell in love with the Plumbago bush whilst on holiday in the Algarve more years ago than I care to consider

One minute I was innocent of Plumbago, insouciantly minding my own business without a care in the world and then suddenly I discovered Plumbago …a combination of the resonance of the name and the delicate beauty of the pale blue flowers proved too much for me. From then on the final assessment of any garden was reduced to that reference viz. did it or did it not contain a plumbago bush.


Many horticultural avenues fanned out at my feet. Now I could join in conversations about gardens and gently them steer in the direction of shrubs and bushes, coyly circling the word Plumpago like someone shy of mentioning a loved one’s name but nevertheless wanting someone else to bring it up. Or I could cultivate plumbagos and become an elderly eccentric, alone in a garden comprising only of plumbago bushes, my family long since fled from of this obsession. And, like Orson Wells at the end of Citizen Kane breathing his last word «rose-bud», I would breathe mine – «plumbago»

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