weeding what not
I’m sitting at the kitchen table. It is a family members old work desk, so it is worn in places. It tells the story of another life and I love finding graffiti marks on it. Mindless scribbles while one is talking on the phone. A postage stamp tested and then left. It has side draws. One holds a tangle of cutlery and the other is full of mysterious things, you know, the ones you find when you don’t need them and are always lost when they are required. I make a tea and holding it in my hands which ache from being washed after gardening. The cold of the soil contrasts with the hot soapy water. Four eyes watch me. Hungry for part of my biscuit I nibble on. It can rain now I’ve done something in the garden.
“The dividing line between seasons is, of course, quite arbitrary, for Nature progresses evenly, gradually, unceasingly and in the jerky way which our clumsy divisions of time imply.”
Harry Roberts, the book of old-fashioned flowers.
The weather influences how enthusiastically you weed a flower bed I decided. Last week the bed I started weeding, dare I say a month ago, I finally finished. The weather was the main reason it took so long. Gardening in the cold weather does require a certain kind of stamina. I need to remember when I next weed this bed to start where I ended as I found my attention to detail did fade the more I worked it. I freely admit to just throwing some pea straw over the last corner and telling myself that will do. At least the lavenders which have been sitting in the pots for far too long are planted. They have budded up to bloom and I am pretty sure they will protest at being put in too cold soil.
This week I am greeted with warmer days and sun in the afternoon. I start a new bed and with the sun warming my skin I feel more inclined to do a proper job. I settle in while dogs potter about. Weirdly all three waft around me, the big one sitting in the path, the smallest one is a very hands on gardener and is keen to dig holes as you work. He does have a terrible sense of space and is thankfully small enough to pick up and move. I see the week stretch ahead and I find I am in no mood to rush in my work. I have plans for the bed and want a clean patch before I start working on my ideas, so it is a meticulous weed. I optimistically aim for every single little weed to be pulled from the soil before a layer of mulch is added. Maybe it is my mood but I find something very therapeutic and satisfying as I stand back and admire my work. Spaces to plant are revealed and I start to daydream about who will go where.
I read somewhere that the solar winter has ended and already we have an extra hour of light. I am enjoying the extra light and I notice that spring is the seasons of firsts. As I weed the garden I spy a number of new things in the garden:
a single blossom on the plum tree.
the first stalk of earlicheer, which of course was then prematurely plucked from the garden by an errant dog (littlest dog needs to learn some gardening manners). I love the scent.
Hidden deep within the foliage, grape hyacinth, small in form, green in hue, ready to emerge tall and blue.
Flowers on the winter prunus subhirtella behind the back door. A simple delight to see.