Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to the soil.

Many thanks for the supportive comments and vitual hugs re my last post. Reading it over I think the garden probably reflected my mood at the time. Now we have been home a few days, slept in our own beds and eaten some decent food, things look a bit brighter. James is slowly using his poor leg more and more, although it will be several weeks before he will be walking again. He is being wheeled about in his buggy, or sitting in his highchair like the King of Siam, ordering us all around - so what else is new! He is just loving his dad at the moment - cries of Da... Da.... Daaaa echo through the house, and I am only required when he is in pain or upset. So, with this advantage I have managed a couple of hours in the garden over the last two days.
Yesterday was a lovely mild day with a definite waft of spring. Everywhere I looked there were signs of growth - rhubarb, chives, new chard, perpetual spinach and best of all - lots of garlic shoots. I began to number them, but like counting stars, I soon lost track. It was so cheering and I felt that cloud finally drift away from over my head. Getting my hands into the soil always chases away the cares. I worked away, clearing the weed pile left over from digging out the last bed into our brown council bin (their compost heap gets hotter than mine!). It felt great to be moving properly again - releasing all that pent up energy from the long winter and the hospital interruption. I couldn't resist picking the spinach for that evening's dinner - and jolly delicious it was too.
Today I had a chance to wash out pots in the greenhouse and sow some seeds - tomatoes steaming up nicely now in their propagator, leeks and parsley on the greenhouse staging. There is something so hopeful and positive about sowing a seed. I was reminded of Harlan Hubbard writing in Payne Hollow about gardening, which really encapsulates what I mean.
"The very beginning is perhaps the best part of a garden.... The sun riding higher in the sky, arouses not only the dormant buds and seeds, but also the dormant hopes of the gardener. The memory of past mistakes and failures has been washed out by winter rain.
This year his garden will be the best ever. "

Hubbard H. (1974)Payne Hollow: Life on the fringe of society Fitzhenry &Whiteside Toronto

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nurturing new growth

Well not quite the new growth I had intended- after all that handwringing a few weeks ago about when to sow the tomatoes, nature sent me an answer. For the last two and a half weeks I have been living at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh with Baby James. My poor wee lamb slipped awkwardly on some water, and fractured his left femur. He had to lie with his leg in traction for 15 days whilst the new bone grew and then had a few days physiotherapy. He was so good and patient during this interruption to our lives and hopefully will be back to normal in a few weeks. I will probably say more about this in the Corridor Living blog once I have gathered my thoughts - it was quite an experience.
We just got home at lunchtime today and I nipped out to take a look at the garden. It is looking very bedraggled. The chard has died back, although it should come back again soon for a spring flourish. The perpetual spinach looks okay, but that it is about it - no sign of garlic shoots yet. Head Gardener has taken this coming week off work, so I may get a chance to pop out now and again to see what I can do. February has almost gone and I haven't even finished January's tasks yet! HG is looking forward to spending his time catching up with BJ after our unexpected 'break', but he'll have a lot of cotton wool to unwrap first.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Winter Visitor

It's been a few years since he's visited us - and he's grown quite a bit since the last time - new scarf - and his nose is a bit different too! I was glad to see him though - it is Winter after all - it should snow really- and for more than 2 days. Enjoy the season - Spring will soon be here.


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