To drive to Chilcombe is an eye-stretching experience. The lane dips then climbs away from the A35 soaring to a high plateau and spreading the coastline of all Lyme Bay before you with an extravagance that makes you feel that nature might have gone just a little over the top in the natural beauty department. Over to the left, behind a screen of beeches is an area of outstanding not-so-natural beauty, the celebrity garden of the artist John Hubbard. And alongside that is the astonishing secret garden of the celebrity garden’s gardener, Andy Lane.
As a beekeeper, I have been asked this question many times.
The implication is that wasps are of no use to humans, so their existence is puzzling.
So I thought, why not ask a wasp, and get a decent answer to the conundrum?
How does a gee-whizz gardener, used to managing a famous space of several acres, adapt to retirement and a smaller plot of land?
Every garden is full of eyes watching and noses sniffing as you dig a deep hole, fill it with compost and install a carefully chosen plant. As early as next morning, you may realise that you have given an expensive treat to some ungrateful roe deer, mouse or slug. If the plant does survive its planting, the buds, flowers and especially the fruit will later be under attack.