You only have to be away for a few days to realise how plantlife and buglife thrives in almost any setting.
Take your eye off any patch of your carefully tended garden and the lawn grows long, dandelions surge out of the ground and some kind of knotweed or ivy is chasing its way through the undergrowth, throttling your darling little plants.
As lovely as ivy can be I have a personal grudge. It goes way back to a flat I bought in Innsbruck, Austria. Ivy cascaded romantically down the balcony and over one side of the building, perched there overlooking the snowy Alps I felt like a princess... ok maybe not that bit. But anyway it was picturesque.
Only when I went to tidy it up did I discover that the nasty blighter had wormed its way into concrete, under paving, insulation and into the roof. It was literally growing in the house. It took the best part of a day to dig out the root and I enjoyed watching it die over the coming months. Until it came back, that is.
Emma and I took a stroll to the supermarket today and noted the resilience of plants. However strong man's desire to control or manage our environments may be, plants always seem to find a way. Perhaps there is a lesson in that. If we weren't here this would be a truly wild and spectacular planet... mind you nobody would appreciate it. And the Triffids would probably take over in the end.