Helen Billiald

Writer, plant nut

Thisnthat: Shaking off the doldrums

Anemone blanda 'White Splendour'A quick check and it appears that my last post was written six weeks ago. Shameful.

To those asking whether I’ve sailed for warmer climes… nope. I’ve quite enjoyed experiencing winter again, although I’ll admit to feeling a little peeved by its refusal to depart sometime in early March.

The reason for my writing lapse is that this family has succumbed to every end of winter lurgy around and I have been more washerwoman than garden journalist.

As well as dropping socialising, my blog, twitter… I’m kicking myself for letting my diary lapse. I’ve kept one for the past four years. It is both sounding board and spare memory, as well as more specifically the place where I’m recording the revival of this little walled garden. Fortunately the glacial easterlies that have held the land in check meant there wasn’t much to record: “Walked into garden, sliced in two by wind, retreated indoors…” that sort of thing.

By happy coincidence, just as I’m picking up the threads of a functioning life again, spring has tiptoed in through the back gate. A little unsure of herself, embarrassed perhaps at being so tardy, but spring nonetheless.

Whereas a few days ago the fields that ring this house were a curious shade of bleached olive, they now carry the first suggestion of green. There are torpedo buds on the horse chestnuts that I swear weren’t there two hours ago, and the first lines of seedlings have striped the vegetable beds. Best of all, five swallows flew slingshot over my head this morning, all of summer etched in their wings.

Last night I sat out in the walled garden, on a pile of bricks next to the unfinished path (sledgehammering time has been hard to find). I meant to use the half light to tidy the greenhouse but the air carried the scent of rain greeting turned earth, and in the pear tree a blackbird was singing as if its heart would break.

Slowly, falteringly, the world is coming back to life.

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This entry was posted on 14 April, 2013 by in Thisnthat and tagged , .

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