So far the season is a very mean one. There's not nearly as much colour as in previous Springs in this garden. All I have is poppies and alliums. The harsh winter has created countless bare patches which I have so far not filled. I'm still hoping that some of the shrubs may recover and shoot from the root. Even the roses, those stalwarts of my garden, have suffered horribly. An English garden without roses? Unheard of. In less than six weeks' time we are due to open to the public. I hope the visitors will have something to look at. The gardeners among them will understand why I may have little to offer, and commiserate, others might not.
I wonder if my lack of success in the garden this Spring is anything to do with sex, or rather the lack of it. In a 'Miscellany of Garden Wisdom', under 'Folk Tales And Fable' I found the following passage:
Sex, Fertility and Plants.
Indulging in sexual intercourse among crops was a custom which occurred frequently in many places throughout America and Europe. Ritualistic copulation was so performed to increase the fertility of plants.
Sometimes pregnant women were employed to plant seed, the inference being that their own obvious bountifulness would transfer itself to the growing plants. Similarly, pregnant women hugged trees to induce healthy growth.
The Sun enters the House of Gemini.
The man born under Gemini shall have many wounds. He shall lead an open and reasonable life, he shall receive much money, he will go in unknown places and he will not bide in the place of his Nativity.
His first wife shall not live long, but he shall marry strange women. He shall be bitten of a dog, he shall have a mark of iron or fire. He shall pass the sea, and live an hundred years and ten months.
The woman shall come to honour; but she shall be aggrieved of a false crime. She ought to be wedded at fourteen years, if she shall be chaste and endure all peril; She shall live seventy years and honour God.
As well man as woman shall augment and assemble goods for their successors; but scantly shall they use their own goods, they shall be so avaricious.
The Kalendar of Shepheardes 1604
Both Beloved and I are born under Gemini and I can guarantee that every word of this assessment is true. But I shall make damn sure, that he will marry no stranger woman than me.