Edging the lawn is not my favourite garden job. I don’t like anything that involves keeping to a straight line. I am a wobbly sort of gardener.
You can see the intricacy of the markings. They remind me of a school chromatography experiment when we made an ink spot on blotting paper and then dipped it in water. The pigments in the ink slowly separated and spread out over the blotting paper.
I don’t know about you, but when I visit a garden over and over again, I tend to go in exactly the same direction in the same order as every other time I have visited. Somehow, in the nine years I have been visiting Leeds Castle, I have managed never to have noticed Lady Baillie’s Mediterranean Garden.
The words of this song keep coming back to me as I find little groups of crocuses around the garden.
Misunderstood sepals, tempting nectaries, fizzling stamens in various stages of excitement, and patiently waiting carpels at the core. You will find all life in the crazy orbit of a Hellebore!
Like with so many spring bulbs, you spend hours watching over them, singing to them, telling them little stories, begging them to open. Then just as your back is turned (you have put the kettle on to boil, or just nipped to the loo), TA DA! The most magnificent flower has sprung open!
Gardening is an act of faith. Most of what you are doing is going to take a while to come to fruition. Whether it is sowing seeds, planting bulbs, taking a cutting, even pruning…you have to have faith that your actions are going to lead to something good.
I find February an excruciating month. We are so close to spring, but it is often getting colder rather than warmer. Bulbs have broken the surface of the soil, but their growth is glacial. I feel like each time I visit the garden I am willing it on, but it is like a painfully shy child. The more pressure it feels to perform, the more it hides its head and keeps schtum.
Every time I see these Fuchsia and Salvia cuttings, I feel a little warm glow inside, because human beings are generous, and like to share their blessings.
There are so many signs of spring, but we can’t quite shake off winter. It’s like we have a fifth season, spr-inter. Its colours are minty-fresh, but with a hint of honey…