Sunday, 20 March 2011

Pottering and pruning

Glorious sunny Sunday afternoon in the back garden. You know how as the season starts, it's hard to decide what to do first? I wandered round for almost an hour looking at the mess and wondering where to start, despite P having given the lawn its first cut of 2011 earlier in the day.
Oak leaves strewn all over the place ( including covering the surface of the pond - is it too late to clear it?).
Witch hazel, so overwhelmed by last summer's honeysuckle growth - and then the winter's - that we could barely see it flowering back in January and February, and the branches now completely invisible, as was the flower bed beneath.
Paving at the bottom of the garden full of junk - plastic pots all over the place, open bags of compost, more oak leaves. Piano finally falling apart - I suppose it's had at least four years out here, doesn't owe us anything.
Weeds covering the shady side flower bed, with barely a sign of bulbs coming through, although the comfrey was coming into flower and buddleia and black elder already starting into leaf. And what's that horrible smell, is it the drains, the pond or the compost bin?
Alas dear readers it was the compost bin, my first experience of what can happen to worms in a plastic bin when you have a two nights of hard frost followed by a couple of very warm afternoons. I draw a discreet veil over the details, hose followed by hot water and bleach is all I will say. Not the best start to my gardening year.
After that, though, all was pleasure and industry - well I don't have to describe pottering and pruning to you. Out with the secateurs and string to tie up climbing roses and prune back honeysuckle; finding the sunny side full of columbine to look forward to later in the spring; weeding the shady side and spotting the grape hyacinths and allium just poking through; sorting out the pots so the daffodils and hyacinths look their best; deciding the pond can wait for another day; and finally the delight of a late afternoon bonfire and enjoying a beer while the sun went down.
And then coming indoors to find a vase full of pale yellow daffodils from the front garden.
I'm really looking forward to the growing season ahead, and I hope your Sunday afternoon was as full of pleasures and plants as mine.