I am sat in the hallway at Salamander Place, hot water bottle at my feet. Mist has blended out the deeper view across to the other side of town. I have a definite sadness that the site across the road is to become flats and houses. We are a destructive species. All wild plants reclaiming the waste will themselves be silent trash of human ingenuity. What a shame. Leith will become even busier, services strained, our thin roads fuller of idling rush hour traffic. Hundreds of cars with five seats and one traveller.
My plants will lean and look over into the new flats. I hope the residents like broad beans. Black little aphids certainly do. I come every two or three days, and crush them. Most pop beneath my passing thumb, but a few always fall off the plants and down to the compost. Those survivors simply walk to whatever plant is nearby and begin their ascent once more. That is, if they ever travelled up before. No doubt some were born in the canopy. What a journey that must be.
I saw a sole pea ‘Avola’ seedling only two centimetres tall this morning, already food for aphids. How are the plants to survive without me? But their growth here with the hungry bugs is my doing. I encourage life, yet, it is of a diminished quality both for plants and aphids alike.
The winner is