During the Winter and well into Spring I admit to having neglected my garden. Horribly. I would peer guiltily out of the window whilst dashing about the kitchen making small dinners and washing up. The filthy cold temperatures got between me and the soil. I’m afraid to admit it but I’ve realised that I’m a fair weather gardener.
There were crispy bits, weedy bits and bits that were, frankly, returning to nature under piles of leaves. My garden is usually a little wild and woolly round the edges and I like it that way but there are limits. The thought of tackling it was daunting and I procrastinated. I used the incessant cold and rain as an excuse. I would surely catch a dreadful ague if I went out there. Yes. It would be dangerous. Meanwhile the ground elder became triffid-like and began to take over.
Then I rationalised it. I would never transform it into a Chelsea gold medal-winner but I did need to save my Knautia from being strangled and it would be good to be able to enjoy a cup of tea in the sunshine, if it ever arrived. I went to buy a new garden fork and a pair of floral gauntlets on sale and began. I reckoned that four or five half-hour sessions would bring it back to a state in which it would be pleasant to sit in again. Whilst I swept up leaves, hacked at bindweed and realised that the winter had killed off my Echinacea it was hard to imagine wanting to spend time out there.
Slowly I dug up more ground elder than the Romans would have known what to do with (they ate it, apparently). I cleaned out the sandpit. Then, as the sun began to appear for brief periods and we had glimpses of Spring-like weather I realised that I was beginning to look forward to getting into the garden. What’s more I prepared and sowed my very first small cutting patch in an area where a birch tree used to be. It only has five or six seed varieties but the other day I identified my first Ammi majus seedling. I may have squealed a bit.
Those aren’t weeds, honest.
The tiny new plants are even inspiring new ideas. I’m working on a design for a little seedling necklace.
At the moment I’m spending a little time outside every day to water, weed and sit awhile. The little ones are too – yesterday I found the dog fast asleep in the sun, draped rather fetchingly with rhubarb leaves. A few nights ago I even sat in my deckchair and crocheted. My garden and I are friends again. Phew.