Hope and Tears

Remember last October I wrote about The Great Tree Fern Saga?  No?  I cannot remember yesterday at the moment never mind last October.  Anyhoo, last October I wrote about my accidental plural tree ferns and confessed I would be worrying about them constantly over the Winter, especially if it was a hard Winter.

It was quite a cold Winter which more frost and more frozen days than recent Winters and yes of course I worried.
I dressed the Tree Ferns as pirates for the Winter, stuffing their crowns with straw and wrapping an old bedsheet around them.  
The season has now turned and the nights have been getting warmer.  We are not beyond the frost zone yet so it is not a time to be complacent, but I decided I would unwrap the tree ferns and let them breathe more freely.
I took off their pirate headgear and gently removed the straw of the tallest tree fern, Oddbod, the one that was possibly dead, certainly not thriving and....
Look look look look, definite knuckles and glimpses of green.  I am more excited than an excited person can be at the sight of this.

I move on to Oddbod junior, 
Yes! More knuckly green-glimpsing happiness!  This is wonderful.   I gave them both a good water to welcome them into the Spring.  I have watered them a couple of times over the Winter just in case and they will now receive regular watering as they did last year.  

I then went to check Oddbod Junior Junior, the smallest one that lives in a pot.  He lives in a pot as I intended to move him into the greenhouse for the Winter as the smaller ones are even more vulnerable to cold than the larger ones.  Sadly my broken ankle meant I could not lift anything heavy at the moment when I should have been moving things indoors. This meant several of my more tender plants had to fend for themselves for longer than I would usually like.  I stuffed its crown with straw and when the fronds were dying back I folded them over to add more protection.
Maybe not the most knuckly of the tree ferns but definitely still lots of green showing so I shall feel quite hopeful for this one too.  I gave it a good water and wished it well.

I will bore you silly with how they develop but all of this is sort of not the point of what I wanted to say because really this is all about hope.  I have struggled a bit with hope over this year.  Sometimes hope has been clearly in my eyeline and things have felt like they were looking up, sometimes hope has been absent without leave and I have felt very low.  This current lockdown seems to have seen hope go on an extended holiday.  Even when the roadmap to releasing the lockdown was announced, I did not feel the rays of hope that some people seemed to at that point.  I cannot explain this, it just is.  This last week or so though, as the infection rates reduce and as I know more and more people who have had the vaccination, things started to feel a little lighter.  Then I went for my first 'jab' which all went thankfully well.  The people running the vaccination centre were hugely efficient and incredibly friendly.  It felt like a good experience and I went back to my car and cried.  Suddenly, without expecting it, I was in tears.  I have been very teary these last few months which I think is lockdown-related though I am known to cry at the daftest of films and tv; but there I was in the car in tears of relief.  The wave of relief was overwhelming, suddenly it felt like the months of stress and fear were finally starting to recede.  It is not over, I know it is not over, but I can now seen that faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

What has this got to do with tree ferns I hear you ask?  The tree ferns have marked the pandemic in many ways for me.  I bought the first one in the first lockdown.  As the weeks passed it became clear that the tree fern was not growing as hoped and that the lockdowns would be a longer situation than I had first thought.  The Winter was long and cold and my tree ferns sat there, looking cold showing no signs of progress.  Now here I am unwrapping the tree germs and it looks like life is returning.  Let's hope the roadmap to releasing the lockdown is doable, let's hope we do not see too many set backs and let's hope.

Stay safe all and be kind.

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  1. That's a lovely blog Alison, I imagine so many of us have felt just as you have described. I certainly have. Felt like that since 2016 pretty much. Hope to hear more about your tree ferns. best wishes Julie

    1. Thanks Julie, I agree we have all had challenges and I know in so many ways I am incredibly lucky. I shall bore for England about my tree ferns.... Alison


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