For the past few days I’ve been woken at dawn by a very loud thrush proclaiming from the treetops at the bottom of the garden. This morning I heard my first blackbird as I left the house. Spring is arriving. I say arriving because winter has not yet left us. My winter garden is still blooming with intermingling scents from the viburnum, winter honeysuckle and daphne. I walk down the railway sleeper path to the bottom of my garden to view the blooms still clinging to the autumn flowering cherry and the mahonia.
But my slow walk in the garden reveals that spring is almost here with wild primroses scattered between the sleepers and hellebores, which have seeded themselves underneath my two weigelas, sporting a variety of colours from white to deep purple.
Daffodils are budding and bluebells are poking their leaves above ground. The vegetable plot is doing well too. The seedlings I bought from the garden centre at the end of autumn have flourished. I’m very proud of my Romanesco cauliflowers and my calabrese, neither of which I’ve grown before. One of the cauliflowers looks as it should – tight green spirals forming the head – but the others have a form more like broccoli. Excellent taste though. The calabrese is not yet ready to eat, but it is as far as the wood pigeons are concerned. As the vegetable plots are near my bedroom window I find myself banging on the French windows to frighten them off, no doubt to the annoyance of my neighbours upstairs.
Last week a friend helped me to spread two dumpy bags full of compost mixed with chopped forest bark and the garden looks fantastically tidy with not a weed to be seen. I am eager for the rest of the perennials to thrust through the fine black compost so I can start planning to fill any gaps. But I don’t want to seem too eager for time to pass. Living in the moment is enough for me.