Monday, 23 March 2009
The flower man cometh.
As we fill our barrows with fresh mulch, a tight muscle of darkening cloud hustles in on the strengthening wind, whipping the loose wood chip and dry soil at our feet into a dizzy whirlpool. Propping ourselves against our shovels momentarily, we look up and nod, murmuring with begrudging gratitude the arrival of a period of scrappy weather, the wet release of a sudden downpour, the west flank of the mainland shouldering a series of nagging westerlies pulsing in off the Atlantic.
The north west through the mid west U.S is beginning its week with a taste of severe weather, thunder storms, flooding, snow and possible tornadoes. How's that for spring weather? From this point on in the gardening calender we will be seeing multiple plant species coming into flower. Over the past week or so, carpets of Anemone 'blanda', white Wood Anemones, neat cushions of purple and white Violets, statuesque Crown Imperial Lillies warming against the white brick buildings, and over this weekend a rash of Snakes Head Fritillaries have come up through the old orchard and into the little path side meadow.
Planted in the mid 80's, each year they expand their range a little bit further afield. One of the jobs that I carry out on a weekly basis is to pick a bunch of flowers for the Presidents office. Today I went for the spring posy option, nipping out the long flower stalks from the established clumps of Primroses, cutting the fresh growth from the flowering Current (Ribes), the pink and purple flowers of Lungwort (Pulmonaria), and the cream and yellow trumpets of miniature Daffodils.
The result is very pleasing, fresh, and above all else hopeful.