It is raining steadily outside, as it has been for most of the past 6 weeks or so. It is supposed to be the spring, but it has been sodden and cold, dark and dreary as far back as the Equinox. This induces in me an unfamiliar gloominess, one that I associate with the long nights of midwinter, not this season of growth and uplift. Having wintered well, and managed to avoid the worst of winter’s dark hounds, it is not good to feel like this when summer is just over the horizon.
The garden grows, and long thirsted-for rain is bringing on a surge in the borders. Digitalis clutch towards the sky before one’s eyes, and there are bluebells and tulips for colour now that the yellow of daffs, Forsythia and Primulas have faded. And there is blossom on apple trees and hawthorns. But still, the mud and drizzle mean that forays into the garden are hurried, scuttling between house, greenhouse and potting shed, no time to stand (let alone, sit) and fully appreciate what is going-on.
At the allotment, which started with great energy and enthusiasm in the weeks before Easter, cold and wet have taken their toll. Whole sowings of early crops have disappeared into the cold, wet earth; those plants (Broad Beans, for instance) which were brought on early and planted out in late March, have scarcely grown since – and who can blame them. A few brave salad potatoes have shown through, but the anticipation of eating them on a warm evening in the garden seems sadly misplaced.
Work for other people has also been hard to manage, with today being the 4thconsecutive Wednesday I have had to write-off because of the poor weather. On the other hand – come on, indulge in a little optimism – growth in general has been held back, so lawns and borders are not yet in need of full-on attention each week.
I am particularly bothered by the garden I am working on for the friends whose Silver Wedding falls in late June. All the plants I have put in so far have struggled to make much headway, and things are running behind somewhat. I know that, if all else fails, I can be there on the morning of their party with ‘instant’ bedding to create some sort of effect – but it will not be the silver and blue herbaceous mélange that I had intended and promised…
Oh, unseasonal gloom – get away with you…bring me sunshine!