The high notes of Spring are throughout the garden, I am drinking the scent in like a good wine, though I assure you I drink wine through my mouth, not my nose. Usually. We have the aforementioned Polyanthus jasmine being joined by the lemon and lime trees this week, so my walk from the laundry to the clothesline is a heavily scented and heavenly sent path indeed. Why not make the mundane marvellous? It is the little things in life that truly make a difference.
On the first day of Spring, the much- watched Apricot tree rewarded me with its first flower, weeks after the nectarine and peaches this year. So long after, in fact, I was tempted to try the old “snap off the end and see if it is green’ trick. However, last week I finally noticed the buds swelling and now it is ready to froth. I love the Apricot blossoms, they are an ethereal pale pink against the red of the apricot branches, another of nature’s amazing colour combinations. Plenty of tiny nectarines on their way too, I noticed. No doubt the Bower Birds are factoring that into their Christmas Hamper lists. Last week I couldn’t find a peach leaf to put in the custard, now I have a tree full. (My mother-in-law’s custard recipe includes two peach leaves whilst cooking). The September garden race has started.
I always think of Spring as being noisy and busy and Autumn being quiet, with a hushed calm… I shall have to listen to Vivaldi Four Seasons again with this in mind. It’s symbols and violins for the splashes of Spring and soft violins tinged with violas for Autumn, both with background flutes for the birds. Summer has the sway of the saxophone, for my brother; jazz was written for the heat. Winter, now behind us, has the crackle of the fire, so there is no need for music then. Well, maybe a cello.
Another favourite tree flowering this month will be the Quince, I think it breathtaking. Such an unassuming tree for much of the year, it whispers into the softest of blooms. Maybe no symbols clanging here but it will be a highlight all the same. The fruit in my climate is scarce and bird-ridden of course, however I love these trees all the same.
On a lower note, I received a letter of complaint from the Paws for Thought campaign secretary this week, signed with a paw dipped in mud. I am uncertain where they find their funding, though I noticed an Aldi bag in the rubbish bin near the dog yards. It seems my Kompoocha cauldron, conveniently placed beside the dog yards, is on the nose. So much so, the dogs are complaining. Everyone’s an activist these days it seems.
I find this both astonishing and hypocritical, considering the nightmares they drag into the garden at times. Also, they deposit them under the house where we are unable to reach them and so we must all endure eau de rabbit for days. In fact, this afternoon found me on my belly raking out the missing Guinea fowl, a victim of Winnifred Windsor Jean’s last rampage. I am formulating a carefully worded response to their demands that I shift my drum, which is clearly impossible as it is full. As I have just fertilised the newly mown lawn, I am hoping the all-over effect of decomposing pellets will befuddle them for a week or two, by which time my brew will have calmed down. Thank goodness for the high notes, I may need to pop a Jasmine over the dog’s front fence as well.
The lawns have cleaned up well with their first mow of the season and I will be vigilant over the coming weeks for any emerging lawn weeds, especially Khaki burr. The lawns should romp along now with the warmer weather and their fertiliser, filling in the sparse spots that always appear through the winter. I have been hosing all the hedges with fish fertiliser which should help confuse the Paws for Thought brigade as well as giving the hedges a good boost, poised and ready for new growth.
I will take some daisy cuttings this week, I see my pink Marguerite daisy is flowering. I will also try some tip cuttings of the Pinkilla hedge Clerodendron heterophyllum, some Rosemary, Wallflowers, Lavender and Teucrium. The Pinkilla hedge is looking fabulous and has finally filled in the curve I had planned when planted four years ago. After a huge clean up and cut back of the Blue Potato Bush, Lycianthes rantonnetii, The Impatient Gardener suggested a new planting scheme in front of the hedge, which will be exciting. New eyes and new ideas, a garden is always evolving.
I hope you are enjoying your high notes in the garden this week; if you can’t get into the garden I would suggest you listen to Vivaldi’s Spring,
The Moble Gardener.