As SPRING WORE toward summer, Tannochbrae was ablaze with flowers. Strange though it may seem in such northern latitudes, the Scottish people love their gardens and cultivate them with surprising skill. My patron was no exception to the rule, and in his gardener, Alexander Deans, he possessed a horticultural treasure who came every day, regular as the clock, from the neighbouring township of Knoxhill, to keep the grounds of Arden House blooming, trim, and tidy.
One day, Deans was planting in the front bed of lawn when Dr. Cameron came down the gravel drive.
"Day, Alex," he called out across his shoulder; then, drawing up short, "Good God, man! What do you think you're doing?"
Alex was planting calceolarias in the big round bed -- masses of beady, yellow calceolarias.
"Don't ye know I cannot endure that yellow trash?" Cameron exclaimed. "Where's my red geraniums -- my bonny Scarlet Wonders?"
These red geraniums were an institution at Arden House, where, indeed, the garden grew by solemn ritual, the slow procession of the seasons producing the same procession of favourite plants, year in year out, the flowers remembered, anticipated, beloved.
In particular, Cameron loved his red geraniums. The vivid scarlet splash upon the shorn green lawn of Arden House was quite a feature of the village, and visitors would stop openly in the roadway to admire -- affording Cameron a naïve and never-failing delight.
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Publication information: Book title: Adventures in Two Worlds. Contributors: A. J. Cronin - Author. Publisher: McGraw-Hill. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1952. Page number: 68.
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