Coming around again…

It is daffodil season again in the Hirsel woods. The leaves are drifting down the slopes like blue green fur in the shadier stretches. Where the sun hits the flowers have begun to unfurl, a bright acid yellow, subtly scented. I’m sure I am repeating myself, this year’s words a perfect echo of last and in all likelihood the images too. I had half a mind not to post but then I thought, half the magic lies in the repeating pattern of the seasons, the anticipation in the gloom and mire of January that there will be silvery snowdrops in February and gently scented golden flowers in March. So here we are again….

Further into the woods buttery primroses and hart’s tongue ferns hold sway, the scaly ferns (dryopteris) still fast asleep inside their shaggy stumps. Tendrils of wood anemone are pushing through the leaf litter at last and it will not be long before I am repeating myself over the carpet of nodding white heads. The thin scrapings of moss which provided a balding carpet to the stones and roots over the winter has quadrupled in volume, each luscious cushion a miniature forest. Walking back to the grounds along the old carriageway I spot scores of tiny mahonia. The parent plants must be in the gardens so this looks like some avian gardening. The dusty blue grape like seeds are poisonous for humans, dogs and cats but must pass clean through our feathered friends without ill effects.

As always at this time of year we circle back via the walled garden where I ogle the quinces and the cow circular to count the calves. We are now up to seven little fellows, each one cute as a button. On the quince front I have rediscovered the two quince plants cadged from uncle Jim which were lost, presumed dead after some reckless strimming in the orchard. One is an inch high, the other an inch and a half. I may have to wait a bit for fruit…

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