playing hookey

February 23, 2012

Brilliantly sunny afternoon – 15 degrees apparently – today February 23rd! So after a morning on a site visit, the call of the allotment won over sitting indoors reading documents and preparing talks. I can do that in the dark of the evening after all! The allotment cat was there showing off as usual and being frolicsome and flirtatious.  The seeded Stipa tenuissima that grow in all the most difficult places – like the paths – are also quite flirtatious . . .

Euphorbias also seed around. they look great at the moment – just going into their lime green fancy dress mode – and set off well by the ruby chard. Many pickings from these . . . and a single euphorbia which may be E. ‘Portuguese Velvet’ getting on well with the willow strips that form partial boundary screens. These were a mistake as they grow too vigorously in this situation. However, they might all be coppiced down harshly just for their slender stems that can then be woven into low panels as a decorative boundary line.

The light of the sun bounces of the glistening willow and contrasts with the now papery, brown flower heads of the sedum . . .

. . and ‘the old shed’ which I should write a poem about, or to, as I’m very fond of it, is just staggering into final degradation. The site secretary is now commenting on the state of it. If only we could all look so good in old age!  Just the scent of a new season.

The trees are afraid to put forth buds,
And there is timidity in the grass;
The plots lie gray where gouged by spuds,
And whether next week will pass
Free of sly sour winds in the fret of each bush
Of barberry waiting to bloom.

Yet the snowdrop’s face betrays no gloom,
And the primrose pants in its heedless push,
Though the myrtle asks if it’s worth the fight
This year with frost and rime
To venture one more time

On delicate leaves and buttons of white From the selfsame bough as at last year’s prime,
And never to ruminate on or remember
What happened to it in mid-December.  Thomas Hardy  A Backward Spring

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