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20th April 2007

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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:01 pm    Post subject: 20th April 2007 Reply with quote

The last week or so has really captured the essence of spring. It is all too common nowadays that people are unable to notice therefore appreciate the beauty of nature and to them I express my utter condolences. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a sentimentalist when it comes to things like this, however I do not find myself ashamed to confess my tears at the very sight of the first rich spitful of homemade compost, appearing silk-like yet smelling sweeter than sugar.
The fruit blossom has been around here for at least 3 weeks now and started with the paper white plums proceeding through the saccharine pink of the peach, to the wedding cake white of pears and cherries. Despite the vast range of domesticated fruit available it goes without saying that apple blossom is the most popular blossom of all and quite rightly so. I would happily live in an apple orchard with the musky fragrance becoming almost tangible. In fact we have three apple trees in the vegetable garden and each one is a froth of bloom resulting in a delicious show from mid April to May. I inherited the trees about 4 years ago and to this day forward I am totally unaware of the variety but what I do know is one of them is a terrible performer and yet I find myself loving every aspect of it. Its silhouette against the spring-filed sunset and its tight clusters of bud that promise so much nourish me. Algernon Charles Swinburne wrote,
'And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.'

And how right he was, spring belongs to blossom and not vice versa- it is the blossom that heralds the spring and not the spring that heralds the blossom.
After about 8 years working the land I have come to the conclusion that things change and this is inevitable. And when I found myself creating this garden some 3 years back within me lay nestled a little home truth that it would need changing in years to come. I believe this time has come earlier rather than later and has confirmed the notion that all gardens grow with age, some need a bit of TLC at times while atb the other end of the scale others may require playing about with aesthetics
Like a democratic soldier I have ploughed myself into this garden and suffered for it physically however the mental content it has secured makes up for it tenfold. On this weeks agenda was working in the mixed border and, because I adore it so much and it gives me so much pleasure, I have enlarged it which, incidentally, has made for an 'L' shaped border. To this I feel I owe the garden more than I could ever give it, however in keeping with its structural dominance I felt it was only right to continue the box hedging so to this end I have planted six more buxus sempervirens to encapsulate and enchant the garden, not least in winter. Likewise, we have enriched our planting with several Festuca glaucas which should compliment the starkness of winter and the fresh juvenile growth in spring.
Another lesson I have learnt over the years is horticulture is a prime example of English snobbery and it is gardening which draws the line between high class hydrangeas and socially- acceptable snapdragons. Besides this many years have passed, all of which I convinced myself I was a horticulturist however I have had my eyes opened and I want to live a gardener, breathe as a gardener and to that end I am happy and contented to die a gardener. Gardening has seen me through the rough times and continues to do so even now and the time to nominate myself as a preacher, for want of a better word, of the benefits of gardening is here.
Whatever you do, whoever you are there is always a place for a garden, a balcony, a pot and if not then join millions of others and acquire an allotment and I can honestly assure you of the therapeutic values of digging the first spadeful of soil on any given day and the freedom to invite yourself into the ephemeral world of miracles by sowing a packet of seeds which, with some love and affection, will flourish and go on to create a garden. Moreover the opulence of the garden in April is unimaginable, so beautiful and awesome that once it's all over one fails to remember how it was and if it were not for the picture journal I keep; I would have to wait another twelve months before experiencing the same magic and this, for a rank amateur, is an unbearable thought.
The road which links Bridgnorth and here is rather a long one yet I long to travel along it everyday. If it were not for the acre-rich fields which flank its lengths it would merge into just another road, but this particular stretch of raod at this particular stretch of time is so remarkably gorgeous and this is purely because of the rape seed planted en masse and the infrequent puddles of honesty (Lunaria) that you dip in and out of. Any country road in April is a real treat and I highly recommend you visit one soon before all is lost and enjoy the dazzling fields of gold and the incessant patchwork quilt that is the English countryside...
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