Spring….Garden Notebook

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.


Now, of my threescore years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.


And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.


AE Housman


Such a wonderful poem combining language and great visuals to convey how brief our time is on this planet…how many springs do any of us have left? How many cherry trees will we have the pleasure to witness in their colourful burst of fresh life?

I love spring; watching bare branches sprout green shoots is surely to witness a miracle?

This year I’ve been fortunate to be free to watch a vast array of plants and trees going through this process and have discovered swathes of wild flowers of such variety to create a substantial catalogue in my private notebook. There has also been a glorious collection of traditional domesticated spring flowers; in January I spotted a very small cluster of snow drops as they broke through the untidy layers of last year’s abandoned foliage…a few hyacinths returned from the dead along the scrappy driveway whilst the bright shock of yellow from the bank of daffodils announced March and defied the “lion” as the wild weather shook the garden.

Tulips with petals that can only be described as “raspberry ripple” presented a view which could almost be tasted…Having the time to stop and look closely, to really examine the structure as well as colour is a feast, perhaps exaggerated after the bleakness of winter….but there’s no denying a beautiful sight.


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