In 1911, in the Scottish Border village of Sprouston, the young parish minister wrote to the Daily Mail for entry forms for its sweet pea competition.The top prize was a staggering GBP1000 and organisers predicted that as many as 15,000 would enter.
He could not foretell that the paper's estimate of the number of competitors would be more than doubled, or that a fortnight before the deadline a nation-wide drought would threaten the very existence of the sweet peas he was so painstakingly cultivating.
This touching - and beautifully illustrated - tale is based on a true story.
HENRY DONALD was born in Haddington near Edinburgh and educated at McGill University, Montreal. He taught in Canada, England and Scotland, and as an actor toured with Sir John Martin-Harvey. He was associated with the BBC for over twenty years as producer, broadcaster, drama critic and writer.