"Begonias are not flowers, they are a state of mind, and a regrettable state into the bargain."
Beverley Nichols (1898 - 1983), Merry Hall.
I was an adult before I learned that Beverley Nichols was a man.
He wrote some of my favourite children's books populated with speaking animals and animate nature (The Wickedest Witch in the World, The Stream that Stood Still, and The Tree that Sat Down). Merry Hall (1951) is one of his many memoirs about gardening. He was able to pierce people and plants with his wit. In person, I imagine that he might have been a really egotistical pain, and rather prejudiced, but his love of beauty, of gardens, of living well, and of cats*, allows me to forgive him a great deal.
*For those of you following the saga of The Cat Who Wears Clothes, he has a vet appointment on the 23rd, when his lady vet comes back from her honeymoon.