The Hebridean Gardener’s Lament “its cold, wet and windy” or in my case the grumpy gardener blues is yet to be replaced by the sunny morning tuneless whistle as I pull on my red woolly hat and wellies and march off to the garden.
In the “edgy islands” spring does not officially start until May when the machair turns white with daisies and then golden with buttercups. So its now 21st May and the only daisies are the alien invaders in my herb garden and the gold is produced by a profusion of dandelions in the scrubby piece of grass which even flattery would not deceive to call a lawn. The herbaceous borders are verdant with chickweed and nettles and even the comfrey has a bad case of wind burn.
Apart from the rhubarb and three rows of very sulky garlic the vegetable beds are either empty or draped with enviromesh sheltering some rather straggly brassicas. As for the broad beans, they seem to have retreated back into their cardboard nursery tubes.
In other words a typical Hebridean spring, if rather colder than usual. Calm sunny days appear at random like a dose of prozac to relieve the dark skies of the serial Atlantic depressions. So there are spells of manic activity in the garden followed by manic activity elsewhere – just the normal outbreak of spring fever before the onset of the white nights.
This year I resolved that I would not be gloomy about the state of my garden. I’m just a bit grumpy because it looks decidedly ragged and unkempt and if only we could have 3 or 4 calm days ………There goes the lament again! However, there a little corners which have hidden gems to remind me why I garden against the odds.
Plus the corncrakes are back, there are whimbrel (look like elegant small curlew) outside my kitchen window and on sunny days the bumbles and hoverflies appear to pollinate the blackcurrants to the sound of ascending larks! Best of all there’s a rhubarb crumble in the oven a little treat for eating spinach with everything!