Being side-tracked is sometimes fun, sometimes interesting, sometimes born out of necessity and sometimes just for the hell of it. But after a winter of musings mysterious I feel it’s time to return to matters horticultural. So here’s how the year began in the garden:
That was January in Westdean, a few hoar frosts, a smattering of snow but mostly mild and bright. Then came February: first the delicate snowdrops accompanied by the heterogeneous hellebores and then that extraordinary heatwave which advanced and confused plants just as much as the rest of us. And yet curiously the first daffodils in the paddock appeared on precisely the same date as the previous year though, to misquote Eric Morecambe, in a completely different place. But once they’d arrived was no stopping them and the early ones came and went in a flash because of the heat. Here’s a sample of the best of February:
Madame Frog was an early arrival in March together with her numerous offspring though lying in wait and circling hungrily were a couple of predatory golden orfe ready to gobble them up. It’s tough being a tadpole.
It’s tough being a trachelospermum too. Not only are you charged with providing winter colour but expected to produce the most divine smells in summer as well…see what I mean:
It’s also quite tough being a plant: at this time of year you’re aroused from your winter slumbers by being dug up, attacked by a couple of forks, split asunder and then plonked back often in a quite different bed. Here’s Rosie doing the dirty work while I was elsewhere, almost certainly still obsessing about ovens, circles and Friston Forest mysteries. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose as my old French master used to say while I was gazing out of the window.