We have spent the day in the garden and it has rejuvinated me, and no doubt done a world of good - to my body, my mind and most of all to the garden. It was so warm and sunny that it was good to be outdoors and so I decided to clear my potager-patch (herbs and herby sub-shrubs) whilst Raymond tackled the veg plot. Three of my six 8ft x 4ft raised beds have had all the dead growth cut back; little spring bulbs are emerging everywhere though not in flower yet, sweet violets have spread and seeded themselves throughout the beds, and new juicy herbaceous plant growth is pushing its way above ground; whorls of sea-green columbine leaves and mint-green alecost and valerian. The buds are almost bursting on the elegant Jargonelle pear; crocus flame like purple stars in the grass of the 'Plum Patch' (a triangle of grass between two plum trees and a damson); hellebores hang their demure heads all around the shrubby areas of the garden in numerous shades of pink, apricot, purple and smokey blue. I love them, because they look after themselves and flower so early, whatever the weather. I succumbed to a new variety last Friday when we called in to one of my favourite, but rather distant, garden centres on our way back from sourcing a new camera lens for Raymond.
Today's endeavours were particularly special because we have not worked seriously in the garden for about three years now whilst we have been stone-by-stone rebuilding our barn - 33ft x 17ft x 28ft high (to apex). We have planted our veg and 'done things' with our fruit, but maintenance has been almost nil, hence it is SOOOO overgrown; brambles and nettles have re-established themselves and elders seem to have sprung up everywhere. Little by little we will take it back into our own - it was a joy to see that underneath all the tangle, the bones of the areas I created so many years ago are still there.
Raymond took some pics but I haven't seen them yet, so will post some of my own: the hellebore display at the garden centre where we love to eat as well as buy plants; close-up of the 'Ruby Glow' hellebore with which I fell in love, the 'Plum Patch' with spring bulbs which are gradually spreading to my great delight, and a close-up of a group of miniature ones that have opened like stars in the sunshine. For once, I do not feel daunted at all there is to tackle, though my arthritis is playing up and my right hand is very swollen this evening. I can put up with that, to see the garden in all its former loveliness once again. It is not a manicured garden by any means; really a sort of tamed wilderness that has 'got away' for the present.