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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005
    King Neglector
    Yesterday I said I wasn't a conservationist. That niggled a bit, as I'd like to be a conservationist in a good way, if I only knew how. Well, today I feel better because on my way out of the kitchen on a rare foray into the wildly overgrown garden I glanced at my Common Ground Mayday! poster and read this piece of advice:

    "Neglect (nicely) an old churchyard or Victorian cemetery. They are superb for wild life (and human souls). A thrush in a churchyard is never short of anvils for snail bashing. Make sure the cemetery is not over tidy. The grass only needs to be cut twice a year - mid July and mid autumn. That way cowslips, primroses and bulbs can remain undisturbed so that they can seed. Clear only the essential paths..."

    Well, looking out on the lawn in which cats sit unnoticed these spring days (whose cats I have no idea), I am proud that if there's one thing I can do well it's neglect. It's not a Victorian cemetery but in my own back garden I'm heading towards applying that generous rule: only cut the grass twice a year. Thank you, Common Ground, thank you cats, grass, wild flowers and plentiful weeds. For today, you make me feel, I'm a good conservationist. Today I'm King Neglector.