Monday, April 28, 2008

Muscari Don't Mind the Rain

Talking about the weather has been described as "the British disease." This was one of many social comments made in passing when I was getting acclimatized that I put away to think about. My understanding of it now is that the weather here is much akin to chronic illness: our days are guided by the comparative strength with which our symptoms manifest themselves. Yesterday was mild and sunny. Today is not.

And so we talked about it. Part complaint, part invocation, part evocation--talking about a sunny day may be the next best thing--albeit a distant second. I spent most of the days indoors. As I left town in a spit of cold rain I decided first that I did not want to walk the few blocks to the grocery store and then by the time I reached my car I had decided that I did not want to drive to the store either.

Of course I will go out in the rain for my cats. When Solomon came out of the garge into the rain, I pulled up my hood and collected his dinner from the cupboard and he and I hurried along the walk to his dining room in the dairymaid's cottage. Along the way, another tabby showed up; the others will be along soon, no doubt.

I don't know what made me turn left, shoulders hunched against the cold pervasive dampness, into the walled garden rather than into the shelter of the house. A vague sense of wanting to see the progress of the new plants led me moving quickly around the edge where I was greeted by a chorus of muscari. The grey light that mutes so many things gave their soft purple flowers a wonderfully rich purple. They stood up as regal as flowers less than a foot tall can be with their leaves like outstretched catwalk model arms. I smiled and walked slowly along the rest of the bed. The tulips are up and providing a range of colours and there, outpacing the nettles at least for now, the first flush of Mr. Fothergill's purple poppies.

The Ceanothus has settled in nicely, but nettles and now the dreaded Sticky Willie as well are trying to reclaim that part of the bed. I'll wage in on the side of the Ceanothus. Now that I have something to fight for, it is easier to take on the weeds.

The cat mint has settled in and even spread a bit, as I had hoped that it would, but the Bishop's Weed also is gearing up for a rebellion. The territorial battles in the walled garden promise to be even more fierce this year than last.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger TerriRainer said...

I am dying to know how you ended up in Scotland...I vote for a post on the journey that led you there!

:) Terri

At 2:06 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

I love the description of the muscari - all of it, actually, but especially that bit.

When living in SF proper (translate, constant filtered grey light) I planted only lavendars, blues, pinks. The colors are so glorious on a gray day, they always bring a smile of pleasure.

Here, only a few minutes away but protected by a foothill from some of the fog, I save my hot reds-yellows-oranges for things that will bloom in September when we have the main portion of our "summer" days.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Well,terri, I have not yet been able to write it coherently, so for now-- a holiday, a book, some photos, and a lot of emails. It will come in time. I took ap hoto with you in mind--could be the ruined castle for the Crichton heir.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Hayden yup that grey light is something isn't it.
In my kitchen garden I planted lots of naturtiums and calendula so I had outrageous oranges in the sharp light of summer. Kniphofia bloom here in August or even September Last year they were so crowded that they did not make a full parade of hot. I need to get into that bed, but so far it has not been touched other than to dig out some hostas.


Post a Comment

<< Home