Seedlings and birdcalls

This is the little waterfall at Fingask. It’s one of the last pictures I took before my camera gave up the will to live, and my interim solution, which is to take photos on my phone, doesn’t impress me much. So the waterfall is to take the bare look off the post, rather than to illustrate it.

Not that the sort of photos I’m able to take can do today justice. I’ve had a phenomenal day. It started when I was hanging washing on the line, and about twenty curlews flew over the garden, obviously heading up-river to the nice boggy country round Flanders Moss. Just hearing them warm up their beautiful calls put me in the spring-time mood. There were oyster-catchers later on too. They’ll stick around. The river banks and Airthrey Loch just up the road are ideal for them to nest in, and we’ll hear their teenage-style all-night partying for several months.

So I’ve been gardening. Not just the kind of out-door housework kind of thing you do while you’re still thinking about it, but real live planting, dividing congested clumps of snowdrops and crocuses, and planting out some michaelmas daisies to extend the pollen season for bees and hoverflies.I have potatoes chitting in the greenhouse, and sweetpeas and asters in trays. I’ve sowed seeds too, tomatoes, chillies and geraniums, and this year’s big experiment, melons. I chose a variety called Emir, because it tolerates low temperatures. This is partly to give the greenhouse soil a rest from tomatoes – those I grow this year will be in big pots, not soil – and partly because I wasnt to see if I can. They’ve just begun to germinate, and I’m very excited about them.

the garden is really beginning to green up. The snowdrops are just about over, but the primroses are closer to blooming every time I look at them, and the alkanet and pulmonaria are coming through, and there is blossom on the japonica, and catkins on the birch, hazel and sallows. No bees yet, and no frogspawn, though there are frogs getting bolder and more active by the day.

And in the house there are so many poems beginning to wriggle and hatch. I’ve been putting all the scraps and notes and stray lines and images together, and it looks like there has been a hotbed of ideas in the back of my mind where The Territory of Rain sequence has been germinating for a year or two. Now to prick them out in a proper notebook, and see what the crop is like!

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