Letter to the Garden March 2022

Dear Garden

It feels like Spring is starting to spring doesn't it?  We are having some milder days and milder nights though the threat of frost is still with us.  It will be late April before I can really think that we are clear of frost and even then I keep an eye on what the weather is doing.

I would love to be writing to you at a time when there was not huge global anxiety.  The pandemic is still with us and we are being told we have to learn how to live with it.  I see the sense in this as it is not going to go away, but it still feels a little like taking a step off a rather tall cliff with half a parachute and I am not sure which half.  In recent weeks though my thoughts have been with the terrible events unfolding in Ukraine.  I see all those people suddenly displaced, millions of people.  I think of all the dead and the injured and I despair.  I want to be surprised that terrible things happen but terrible things happen all the time.  Whilst this is a war in Europe there are other wars, other conflicts that are not filling our screens in the same way and the human cost is the same.  I feel quite useless faced with this, wondering what I can do that might actually do some good.  I have donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee and if you wish to do the same you can do so here.

Dear garden I turn my mind back to you, I wonder if I am hiding behind you or in you, either way you are my coping mechanism and at least here I can see where I have been of some use.  Over recent weeks there has been one main question: where is the frogspawn?  I have no frogspawn and now it feels too late.  The other day I am looking out of the bathroom window as is my general habit and I see ducks.  Three ducks: two males and a female.  I have not seen ducks on the pond for several years and I have not really thought much about this until suddenly there they are again.  I have opened up the planting around and over the pond in the last year and it must have changed the environment enough to welcome back the ducks.  It makes me think how even little changes in the garden can have such a big impact.  I say 'welcome back' and I admit I am a bit ambivalent about seeing them.  I love seeing them, they are wild birds and that in itself is exciting for me in my sub-urban garden.  They will (hopefully and if they stick around) eat slugs, this is good.  They will (if they stick around) poo everywhere, this is not so good but sh*t happens as they say.  They will also eat the frogspawn, but then the newts do that too and that is what nature does.  I shall start singing 'The circle of liiiiiiiife' tunelessly again if you are unlucky.

I have been planting out more snowdrops this week dear garden, I have started to put them around the pond and the Dancing Lawn.  I only put 75, which I bought whilst in a cautious mood and as each one popped into its forever home I did wonder if I should have bought more.  No sooner had that thought flicked around my brain like a disorientated moth than my eyes fell upon the emerging Fritilleria meleagris.  I then realised my caution with the snowdrops had been right, I can divide more clumps in the garden to spread the snowdrop love around, but I could buy some meleagris in the green...... I think I will.....

Take care dear garden, the trees are starting to show glimpses of green and the blossom buds are starting to show little peeps of colour.  Everything is soon now and being able to focus on something hopeful is a good thing.

With all love

Your loving gardener

Postscript

Ho ho ho, my dear garden, what a jolly jape you have played on me.  Just when I thought all hope of frogspawn had passed, just when I finish my letter to you and press send, I go out into the garden and what do I see?

There are frogs in the pond doing the wild thing and I see frogspawn and it sees me.

Sorry ducks, I feel I have unjustly maligned you.  Keep on quacking!

Your loving gardener 

Take care and be kind.


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