I love winter, but by now, it always seems to have gone on for an incredibly long time.
It's been wet, cold, windy and miserable for as long as I can remember.
And I can't wait for Spring - probably the most eagerly anticipated season of the year.
But the same thing happens to me every year.
Suddenly one day I realise that Spring has been and gone and done it's thing while I was - well, what was I doing?
Waiting, I suppose.
How unappreciative is that?
|Viburnum Bodantense flowers all winter, bless its cotton socks|
It's not that things pass me by. I always notice.
The snowdrops start first, often before New Year even and then, too early for their own good, the first tiny, fragile little violets peep out. The viburnum Bodantense continues in full throttle, despite having been flowering since October, and then the blue, blue flowers of the delicate anemone blanda appear. And - suddenly - wham, bam, everywhere you look, weeds are popping out of the ground like jack-in-the-boxes - or should that be jacks-in-the-box?
|The orchard blossoms|
I think, deep down, I am waiting for bugles and trumpets and a massive fanfare. For an Official Announcement on the Today Programme, a banner across the sky proclaiming: 'Let it be known - Spring has arrived!'
|So brief, so beautiful|
Instead of which, with horror, I suddenly realise that we are into the Pheasant's Eyes - the very last of the narcissus to flower; that the camassia are over; the tulips are blown; the leaves are opening on the first of the big trees and that the brief, wondrous moment when I thought I was in control of the garden has flown for another twelvemonths.
So this year, bearing Jeanette Winterson's words in mind - 'the time is now and the place is here and there are no second chances at a single moment.' (quoted just a week ago in my post, A Heartbeat), I am determined not to let it happen again.
It helps that I have been out gardening like a fiend. I have been trying to tame my herbaceous border which has run rather wild this last year or two.
|Not a pretty sight|
Hugo, our lovely Frenchman, got me going by (effortlessly) digging up the thugs for me, and helping me replant them in the new, whimsically named Moon Garden, where, as far as I'm concerned, they can fight it out between themselves.
Now I am gradually working my way along the bed, clearing it, dividing plants, removing weeds, and generally improving everything's living conditions.
A slow but rewarding process.
And even though it's still only February, a week of sunshine has brought everything on so fast that I am only just in time - another week and some plants wouldn't appreciate being uprooted at all.
|Getting there - slowly|
Model Dog and the TeenQueen have been a big help.
Model Dog is an old hand, but gardening is new to SuperModel.
She has taken to it in a big way.
Lying on the grass, soaking up the rays and reducing vast marrow bones to matchsticks is just what Tiggers like best.
So, Spring - HELLO!
Nice to see you!
Please make yourself at home, and hang around, who don't you?
Have a cuppa - in fact, have two. Or a glass of wine. Let's make a celebratory cake! There's really nothing else I'd rather do than keep you company.
The spring is sprung, the grass is riz,
I wonder where the boydie is?
They say the boyd is on the wing -
But that's absoyd!
The wing is on the boyd!
And if you don't believe me, measure the height of your lawn tonight and then measure it again in the morning!
|A bouquet of loveliness|