Well Sprung

I came in from the garden in the boogly dark today – so I am clearly down with an acute case of spring fever.

I popped over to Mum’s on Monday and Selkirk was distinctly wintery. We walked around the Haining Loch in the afternoon looking for snowdrops but there was no sign as yet. The loch seemed to be the venue for a black and white ball – loads of coots and moorhens clucking away and a coterie of tufted ducks, with brilliantined curly licks. At home the sun has come out and Lyra and I have been stravaiging all over the place, enjoying the crisp clear mornings and the beginnings of colour in the hedgerows. All this rambling has eaten into my weeding schedule though. The garden is really starting to wake up now, with primroses in full flower in the nuttery are all manner of tantalising spikes and spears beginning to peep through. The race to get the weeds out before the bulbs are flowering should really have commenced in earnest, but I have been slacking.

With this in mind, as Lyra and I ventured forth today, the words “and you are not suckering me into a long walk this time” crossed my lips. Well, it was such a lovely morning we ended up going the long way round the newly discovered forest walk (the one marked with a “Dangerous Footpath” sign to add extra frisson. Thus far no passing dangeroos have been sighted but Lyra did find an interesting big hole today so perhaps dangeroos have underground lairs). A few snowdrops are beginning to flower in the shade of the wood, tiny drops of white, just here and there. I crouched to take a photo and, looking more closely, could see silvery green shoots emerging everywhere. Soon there will be pools of white around the glossily crinkled tongues of fern. On the way back, picking our way through the mud to the bridge, I spotted shaggy pink flowers standing proud above the mass of slightly furred, green heart shaped leaves that edge the track. I have been curious about these plants for a while, but this is the first time I have seen them flower. Armed with a photo I consulted the ever helpful Dr. George Oogle this evening. Winter Heliotrope he advised. Apparently they smell of vanilla or cherry pie. I didn’t notice this as I passed so on the next walk I shall be grovelling in the mud to verify the aroma in the interests of botany. Predictably, it was past noon by the time we turned up the hill back to the car park and the birds were all a twitter. We had an honour guard of yellowhammers singing from the hedge top all the way to the car.

Once home I set to in the garden and resolved not to come in until I had finished cutting back the borders. Wielding the little hedge trimmer like a woman possessed, I hacked and slayed and barrowed the fallen to a final resting place in the compost heap. In the way of gardens, the completion of one job has brought a dozen others to light. The michaelmas daisies have run amok and some will have to go. Wild oxeye daisies have escaped the orchard meadow and infiltrated the beds by the bottom pond and the couch grass is back (who am I kidding, it never went away, just hid under the stones). Ah well, those will need to be jobs for another day. I was feeling distinctly creaky as I tipped out the last barrowload in the gloaming. Perhaps tomorrow we really will do a short walk and I’ll get started a bit earlier. Perhaps.

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