Letter to the Garden April 2022

Dear Garden, it feels like ages since I last wrote to you and yet it was only in March.  The world seems busier, more loud, more unpleasant and cynical than it has been for quite a while. 

The search for good news seems a Quixotic quest and so I shall look for my own windmills, maybe not to tilt at but to enjoy and celebrate.  Dear garden, I feel the need for celebrating something, anything.  I feel the need to find hope somewhere and of course for me that somewhere is you my garden, always you.

We are now in Spring and if I can't find hope in Spring then I know I am in real trouble.  Everything about Spring seems to be about hope, ok maybe the emergence of ants, slugs and snails are not hugely positive in some ways except they too show a return of life.  Whilst I do get tired of getting bitten by ants as I accidently disturb their nests whilst gardening, I know that when I see them start to set out and explore that the soil is warming up.  This is a good thing.

and, dear garden, you are having a mystery occurrence.  There are tufts of moss scattered across an area of the lawn, looking like when the cats have been scratching lumps out of the rug.   Either the neighbours are passive-aggressively drawing attention to the moss in my lawn (they wouldn't) or something/someone is hunting for something.  I suspected birds, possibly magpies as I seen to have a few this year (three for a girl as they say...).  So I posted a picture on twitter to see if anyone had any answers.  Chafer grubs and leather jackets were suggested as possible causes.  Not in themselves as they are not causing the damage, but blackbirds hunting for them.  Leatherjackets in particular seems very possible as I always seem to have a lot of Daddy Longlegs flying about later in the summer, or spiders with wings as I like to call them.  I really don't like them they are just too leggy (remember that song about John Wayne is Big Leggy?  I never understood that..... anyhoo...).  I hasten to add I do not kill Daddy Longlegs, but  I really hate them flying around.

Wait a minute, I hear some readers say, what do you mean they have wings?  I thought they were spiders!  What I mean by Daddy Long Legs is also known as a Cranefly.   Whilst I am at it, the other Daddy Longlegs are not spiders either, they are harvestmen.  Soo complicated!

Anyway, back to the tufty lawn.  Removing grubs of any sort from the lawn is fine by me.  I know dear garden that you know I am not lawn-proud.  If it gets mowed once a fortnight in the growing season it feels cared for.  I let all sorts of wild flowers pop up, especially daisies but as I write the self-heal is adding a flush of purple.  Of course in the Wild Garden I let the grass grow as tall as it likes.  Insects and the cats love this.  I almost feel like I should care more about what the lawn looks like, and actually I do. I care that it looks beautiful and flower-strewn.  There is nothing wrong with it if you want a pristine stipey lawn and I wish you every happiness with it; for me though I like slight feeling of mowed chaos that my lawn becomes as the growing season progresses.  I try to limit any unwanted perennial weeds but I sort of hope that frequent mowing will weaken them.

What do you think dear garden?  I hope you don't mind that the lawns are not manicured? I think they are more collated or even curated?  No I refuse to be that organised - I think I try to let you be ……almost. 


Your loving gardener

Take care and be kind

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