The Tentative Spring

Although it is now April the wind is still easterly and the temperature is low enough to deter gardeners. I have a lot of seeds waiting to go, but blimey, what’s the point? And yet — here are the first flowers in Lucy’s garden, so something’s happening!

I have my first daffodils too. These are the native species, the wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud type of daffodil, which I planted last year. They didn’t flower at all then – this is usually the case, in fact, but this year they are doing well, beating the cultivated ones by weeks, and much more delicate and subtle too.

Some of the herbs have started too. The one I always worry about is tarrgaon, as the French variety is supposed to be tender. Not a bit of it. It is romping away, while the rosemary and purple sage look very sorry for themselves. This is angelica, very green and vigorous already.

The birds are all well into nesting. The magpies were the first, but the sparrows have a whole tenement in the privet hedge, and blue tits, wrens and chaffinches are making themselves very obvious. Blackbirds are chasing each other round the pond and the colony of black-backed gulls has returned to its residence on the warehouse roof. They are very noisy and aggressive and it occured to me to wonder if they are the reason why I haven’t seen any mallard chicks for the last year or so.

We have had a good Easter, when all the family came together. Lucy and I made hot cross buns, pains au chocolat – which are not like chocolate croissants, but rich soft bread rolls with a lump of chocolate baked inside, and cup cakes, and decorated an Easter tree for a big dinner. Most of us have had to struggle so far this year, whether professionally or with health and relationship issues, so it was nice to take a break and enjoy each others company.
And by way of getting back to work, I have signed up to NaPoWriMo this year, hoping to quickstart some creativity, and I’ll post some progress reports as I go

The final photo is of my favourite flower. We have two (2!) in the garden, after years of cosseting and moving them to better places. I see photos from other people’s garden showing great swathes of bloom, and see recipes for all sorts of violet concoctions from herbalists – where do they get them from? How do you get violets to flower so prolifically? I think this is going to be the next project!Have a very happy holiday, everyone!

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