Today is Armistice Day. It is the day that marks the end of the First World War and getting close to 11 am and a silence that sweeps Europe.

I lost two relatives in WW2. Uncle Dennis was escorting a convey through the western approaches when he ditched his hurricane into the sea. There was no parachute and I have this vision of him still strapped into his cockpit. Aunty Renee waved her new husband off at Southport railway station and never saw him again. He was captured by the Japanese and was in a prisoner of war camp , helping to build the River Kwaibridge. Uncle Bob’s favourite song at church was “nearer my god to thee” My aunty took some comfort when very recently a survivor recounted the story of a prisoner asking the chaplain to sing the same hymn to him as he lay dying of dysentery in the camp.

Landscaping is a young man’s career, and I sometimes think of how awful it would be if the young men who we employ were to have to go to war. Quite unmanageable horrors awaited them, and the desperation of their loved ones. It really puts into perspective the frustrations of growing up in today’s relatively safe world.

Out of the horrors of war have come the most amazing art. The ceramic poppy’s sweeping around the Tower of London have captured everyone’s imagination. There is something glorious about a mass display that seems to have a resonance with us humans. From sweeping avenues of spring daffodils and the intense blue of a bluebell woodland, these volumes of colour take your breath away. We have to wait another 12 months for their return. Unlike the young men who never come back .