It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.
In May, the Kentish country lanes are full of froth and fizz. They are overflowing with hawthorn blossom and the cow parsley. It reminds me of filling a champagne flute and seeing if it overflows.
After five minutes in the garden I have re-charged and re-energised. There is so much to be grateful for. So many little miracles unfolding before me. Energy bursting upwards and outwards, exploding out of buds. Light shining out of stems and leaves. An infinite variety of shapes and textures.
Daffodils can be a bit shouty; a bit full-on; a bit draining. This post gives space to the subtle ones.
Hyacinths are the easiest of bulbs to grow in the garden. They are reliably hardy and perennial, and bulk up each year. Just remember to wear gloves when planting, and don’t touch your face!
There are some rather wonderful words for describing the shape of a flower’s stigma. ‘Plumoso’ describes a feathered shape. ‘Lobado’ describes a lobed shape. There is conicoid (conical), discoide (disc-shaped) and con pelos (with hair). I would describe a crocus stigma as plumoso. Lucky crocus.
On a weekend, I like to get up before the rest of the family. I put on my dressing gown and slippers, make myself a cup of tea, slip on my wellies, and take a little walk around the garden.
The words of this song keep coming back to me as I find little groups of crocuses around the garden.
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.
If you are in company and you face-plant, everyone can enjoy it. If you are on your own and you face-plant, you have to spring up quickly, as if you meant to do that, as if it was just part of your normal skipping pattern.
Mist simultaneously closes in, and creates distance. It disorientates, and makes the landscape appear what it is not. Islands appear in a sea of mist, and birds start out of nowhere.
We are in the inbetween-time, waiting for signs of life…