Outset - off plan, en route

If you listen you can hear it, listen, today barely a whisper, a sotto voce murmur of what needs to be; other days the voice is raised, urgent, with a hint of panic.  Like the White Rabbit tapping its watch the feeling that  time's ceaseless underlying rhythm matters.  With my hand to the soil I hear it more clearly, I attend to that voice and know it is talking to me, I hear my garden.

The new year is still fairly new yet day after day has passed and due to the weather there has not been a start of the gardening year.  Desperation starts to kick in after a while as I am just itching to get outside and do something gardeny.

This weekend I decided it was going to be about gardening, it had to be, I could not last much longer without my gardening fix.  On the Friday evening I went along to my local Hardy Plant Society meeting which is just up the road in Nottingham.  The encouragement to go was the dual draw of some 'choice' snowdrops for sale from a local grower and a talk called 'Plants with a Purpose, Tudor Gardening at Cressing Temple' being given by Rebecca Ashbey.  It was a fascinating talk and I learned a lot of things I did not previously know.  It felt like a good way to start a gardening weekend and I wended my way home happy.
Saturday morning dawned, well, I am not sure it dawned, it slid from black to darker then lighter grey, but it was dry and that was what mattered most.  I declared to myself that it would be a pruning day. I felt the need to be cutting back and lopping.  I wandered outside, shed keys in pocket, with a determined view of what the day would be like.

As is my usual habit, gardening cannot start for the day without a wander around the garden to inspect what is going on.  This particularly matters this time of year as I rarely see the garden in daylight during the week.  As I was inspecting I got to the top of the Prairie Borders and knelt to pull up an offending weed, and then another weed, and another; and it became clear the garden was telling me what I needed to do first: weed the Prairie Borders.  There was a good mix of annual and perennial weeds and a hefty dose of teasel seedlings in need of editing out.  Whilst I love teasels they  seed very effectively and I spend quite a lot of time removing and relocating them.
A couple of hours later and the three Prairie Borders are weeded.  The act of weeding also enables me to see what is starting to emerge and what is going on with the borders 'close up'.  I was pleased to see quite a few new clumps of self-seeded Stipa tenuissima and Anemanthele lessoniana filling up some gaps in the borders and the Verbena bananarama is also seeding itself through the borders quite gently at the moment.

The pruning will be another day; the voice of the garden guided me wisely.


  1. I find if you pull no unwanted plants you can walk around and walk away. Yield to the temptation of pulling out even one and you're sunk. You just have to keep going . . one more . . . one more . .

  2. I can't say I really love gardening at this time of year, but at least when you pull weeds you know they're not going to grow back in 5 minutes! :)

  3. It looks like you got your 2018 gardening off to a great start! A brilliant talk and some effective weeding.

    Here's to the days (slowly) getting longer so you can start to enjoy your garden during the week too.


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