Thursday, 28 February 2013

Lions and Lambs

It's been a quiet sort of month.
A heads-down, getting into the rhythm of things type of month. And largely unsociable.
Some ups and downs - like my poor Mrs Smith - but a good month nevertheless.
A month of measured days and new beginnings.  

When we first came to Ireland, someone described March as 'coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb'. It wasn't an expression I'd heard before, but it described that deeply petulant month perfectly.
Twenty years later the climate has adjusted to a different set of rules, or perhaps no rules at all, and now it seems that February has taken on the mantle of March - and this year it did indeed come in roaring.

We didn't have the snow that much of Ireland and most of Britain had, we just had hail and gales and rain, rain, rain. Everywhere squelched and water poured off every inch of the land. But for the last two weeks it has been as dry as a bone. Oh blessed relief.
We've had thick white frosts some mornings, and often an easterly wind like a knife, but I have spent hours of every day gardening with great satisfaction, protected from the north and the east alike by my ten foot, 200 year-old walls

TeenQueenSuperModel likes gardening. In fact, she tells me it's her most favourite thing of all.
Except for racing in the orchard. And breakfast. And walks. And cuddles. And snoozing on the fluffy bed by the fire.

Snoozing after a hard day's work

But apart from those, gardening is what Tiggers like best.
Model Dog also likes gardening, but then she likes doing whatever I'm doing.
It's rather a case of 'Wherever I go, there's always Pooh, there's always Pooh and me,' and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd be lost without my Model Dog.

So, a-gardening we have gone.
The herbaceous border is practically done. As are my back and general muscle-system, but nothing's free, after all - and the pleasure it gives me to see the bed looking spick and span far outweighs the minor inconvenience of hardly being able to straighten up.
Now I can re-plant the things that have been heeled in here and there around the garden, mulch it as soon as the rain returns (which it will, it will), and then stand back and watch it all burgeon.
I will keep you posted.

Unfortunately, TeenQueen's gardening means that the lawn adjacent to my flower bed (although 'lawn' is perhaps a rather a high-falutin' name for that particular patch of grass)  looks like a graveyard. Or perhaps a charnel house.
It is littered with bones. Mostly just the remains of bones, and there ain't many remains.
While I dig, the dogs lie on the grass and munch their way through any and every marrow bone that Paul, our lovely butcher, can throw their way.
Model Dog used to be happy just lying on the grass, but since the advent of the TeenQueen - with her sharp young teeth and adolescent attention span - it is necessary to keep her constantly amused so that she doesn't get into mischief.
Bones are definitely what Tiggers like best. She demolishes them with indecent haste, and prances with excitement when she sees the gardening bucket come out.

But it hasn't been all gardening this month.
I've been writing again - getting back into my book; and enjoying the last days of winter sunshine in the woods; and the crisp blue days by the sea; and helping a friend; and doing a bit of crochet here and there; and knitting my patchwork squares; and loving the lighter mornings, the longer evenings, the end of the snowdrops and crocuses, and the start of the daffodils, primroses and violets.

It's that moment of the year when the winter is behind you and the joys of spring and summer are all to come - all still to come.


  1. Got that same spring-is-coming vibe here in south London, Lorely. Little buds appearing al over the place, lighter skies, longer days, happy cat, greater awareness of flab concealed under layers.... But without a doubt spring s my favourite season. Yippee!

  2. I am so jealous of your productive gardening as I'm very much an 'armchair' gardener as our wilderness will testify.
    Yes, there's been a real feel of Spring these last few weeks.
    Are you familiar with the other saying of April's three borrowed days - one each from January, February and March?


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