Considering that I was here in March it is quite daunting to see how high the weeds/thistles/grass have grown - surely a metre - in my mother’s 1/4 acre garden. As she said, you don’t think when you lay out a garden at 75, that you will ever be 88 and can’t manage it yourself. She and my dad did try a lady gardener for a while but they didn’t get on. My mother felt that she shouldn’t be spending her £10 per hour time, trying to rescue a frog from a water pipe and my father was cross that she wouldn’t listen to him regarding the pond motor or rockery layout. So that was that. Since then my young nephew has the job of mowing the expanse of lawn and neither my father nor my mother can make any impression on the rest. Remarkably, my dad has kept a row of runner beans on the go every summer - I just picked about 4 kilos - and there are plums which obligingly battle on. I have had the private thought that I should contact the television programme “Garden Invaders” to enlist their help, but paradoxically, the last time I watched, I get the impression they only help out young able-bodied couples who don’t want to garden at all and get most of their tiny patch covered with ‘decking’ or paving with the odd plant in a pot which must require ‘low maintenance’. The excuse that they both work doesn’t wash with me, so did my parents. The young are just not interested in gardening. They would rather play computer games (witness my 28-year old son.) Mum was quite amenable to the idea of me phoning the programme however - her gardening knowledge is still superb and she would ace all the questions. But my poor dad would be totally unable to help with the physical labour - although, knowing him, he would long to be asked to ‘dig’ something - his favourite activity. and further, my brother would probably strongly disapprove of outsiders meddling on his property. He and my dad share the gene which dictates that “everthing must be done by self because no-one else is capable of doing it properly.” This makes life really difficult when you are old.