My garden, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is often a barometer for how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling good and whole, then the garden is in good shape.
Or maybe it’s the case that if I get the garden into shape, then I feel good and whole. Lately I’m not sleeping well. I’m waking up stressed about nameless, shapeless things and I’m troubled by a sense of not having me, my life, my house or garden in order. Both actually and metaphorically. I did intend to get out there and deal with the chaos today but we were hit by a strong, icy wind today that made even the shortest trips outside unpleasant.
So I settled for photographing the garden instead. Looking at the garden up close, through a lens, achieves two things. I get to capture the detail that isn’t necessarily obvious at first when I step outside and see my ramshackle garden and I acquaint myself with the things that are good and beautiful. The half hour or so I spend is a kind of meditation and it helps. A lot.
Enough words. Let me show you what I saw.
Our daffodils are dying. As they should. It’s what they do. They’re feeding the bulbs for next year.
The next round of yellow bulbs has shown up. The yellow tulips.
In a few months, we’ll have yellow sunflowers. There will always be yellow of some kind in the garden. It’s so cheerful and necessary.
I love my valerian. One day I want a whole bed full of this stuff. I stole this plant from between two slabs of stone a couple of years ago, and hoped it would survive being torn from the ground. It’s thriving. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.
In a month or so, this wall of the chicken coop will be groaning, I hope, under the weight of enormous sweet pea plants. I planted them way back in March and am longing for the pay off of the early investment.
The chickens love the peas that are left after the flowers drop off so there was more than just a desire for prettying up the run with a wall of colour in my sweet pea vision.
I think my continental parsley is really at its end, but wow the flowers look great when you get up close. I hadn’t realised.
We planted loads of tiny Seaside daisies in autumn and over winter, they’ve survived but they’ve done very little. Just now, they’re sprouting a few delicate flowers – their first. Full of promise.
Finally, I was happy to see that my broad beans, which seemed so slow going, are finally flowering. I planted them late this year (cursed myself for that) and wondered if they’d even sprout. We may not get a bumper crop, but a crop we shall have of these much misunderstood treasures.
So my garden, actually and psychologically speaking, is perhaps in better order than I thought. Early spring is looking good but I’ll have to get a wriggle on if summer is to deliver the same results. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you my chickens gazing up at a wall of a magnificent sweet pea flowers before too long. That’s what I’m really hoping for now.