30 JANUARY 1942, Page 14


IT is complained by some of our dwellers in the south that the climate of their Riviera grows harsher, that frosts of ten degrees or so become almost a commonplace, that the Gulf Stream does not exercise its pro- per influence. If it is so, there is consolation. The one objection to the balmy clime of some of the south-western valleys is that the trees, as one grower used to complain, suffer from insomnia: they continue growth till the year is old, and the sappy shoots, never hardening off, grow liable to canker and such maladies. If harder frosts take toll of st.,ch a pampered alien as the mimosa or wattle, they will give new health to the half-native apple. It is a quaint coin- cidence that since writing the above I have by mere accident come across an orchard poem by an American, poet of New Hampshire.

No orchard's. the worse for the wintriest storm; But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.

How often already you've had to be told, Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.

Dread fifty above more than fifty below • All of which is good horticultural advice, and the poetry—fitly written by Robert Frost—is very much better than this citation would suggest. He is a nature poet, so called, who regards the countryman as even more important than the country.