Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Back into the Walled Garden

The remnants of the snow have retreated to the tops of Beinn Ratha for their last stand of the season. The wind is whipping across the land as if in a gale, but even it has lost its sting. It is a warmer wind that will not stop thought or chores. As the snowdrops themselves begin to fade, the crocus are joined by daffodil leaves in their rich dark spring green leaf and the stalwart tips of tulips that I planted last year in the corner of the walled garden previously ruled by nettles. The nettles may come back, but I will be ready for them this time. When the first tender shoots appear, I will harvest them for the soup pot. Perhaps that threat is enough to keep them tucked underground and running into secret corners. I doubt it. I will not underestimate either the nettles or the bishop's weed.

The overgrown bishop's weed also appears to be in submission for now. The newspapers and the carpeting that starved them after I ripped out root and leaf are ceding to bare, dark earth. I will be diligent there as well to see that the territory so dearly won is not lost again.

I have been strong enough to walk in the garden these past few days, usually in the company of my favorite cat and jester, Solomon, aptly named for his wise fool nature. Yesterday I was strong enough to work in the garden. Only someone who had not been able to do as she wished could find such pleasure in raking away the dead stalks of last year's lupins. The stiff rake caught the dry stalks and tumbled them into a pick up sticks jumble that moved easily into the deep well of the wheel barrow. Sometimes the bright green of moss caught in the teeth of the rake and jumbled into a living tapestry of straw yellow, bright dark green and the iron rust of the rake's teeth.

Each wheel barrow full of this tapestry left behind a more regular setting--more like a garden, albeit not a formal one. Unlike the skeleton of the garden recovered with my first efforts, these beds are beginning to reflect my own efforts not just at the clearing away but also in the planting. I hope the poppies will be back. I spread enough seed to ensure that, I think, but the birds and the other creatures who visit here may have had their way with them. If so, I will call on Mr. Fothergill again for more seeds or the real people that I know well enough now to ask for seeds or cuttings.

As I wheeled the last of the barrow loads to the compost bin, I saw my first bed out of the corner of my eye. The notion that I need to clean up the stalks from the dianthus coexists quite contentedly with the pride in seeing how well they have grown and spread beneath the flowering currants who have lived there for many years. The entire bed is given to pink and fragrant flowers, except for a spark of yellow--she was included because she has pink-red leaves and because not even in my wildest moment could I give in to an entirely pink corner. The yellow spikes also give some contrast to the low growing dianthus, heathers and creeping thyme. More importantly, they are a memento of visits to Langwell Gardens, where after strolling the gardens and making sketches and notes of ideas to bring home I had tea and conversations with friends.

As I rake and weed and dead head, I find more and more of myself in the garden and that adds to the joy of being able once again to dig and delve.


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

dig and delve, dig and delve, what a great alliteration. I wonder what delve means, as opposed to dig. Probably more conceptual.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Glad you're feeling better -- glad, too, that Spring seems to be returning to some parts of the world.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow // gardening in this wind // better to see it through he window // scorrie //

At 10:09 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

dig and delve is the phrase in my mind associated with Adam when he was cast out of the garden of Eden, but now I am gonn have to check that out.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hello, cur, thanks. I am on the mend. I think neither spring nor I can be held back, but it will be a tussle.


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