So there I was, last weekend, spurred on by Scotland’s rugby success, thinking spring is here. Time to do some shrub pruning. I had finally got to the end of the apples and pears, and it was time to get my feet firmly back on terra firma. Now granted, there was a chill in the air, but the walls were starting to weave their magic, and it was really quite warm working in the south facing border. It’d been a couple of years since I’d thinned out the blackcurrants, so it had become a bit of a thicket; out came one-third of the shoots, allowing us to actually get to the currants when they fruit. I also lifted the canopies of a stately arching cotoneaster and our mulberry to allow the underplantings more light and moisture come the summer. They had also got a bit too near to the path and were at risk of poking the casual passer-by in the eye. The tree paeonies too had been practising their ninja skills, steadily encroaching on the grass path. Armed with my loppers, I was on a roll.
Until Wednesday afternoon, that is, when spring juddered to a halt and the snow returned. Again. The ‘beast from the east’ this time, though, and it certainly lived up to its name. No light dusting this time, but a continuous barrage of snow for the last 3 days. 10- 12 inches where there is no drifting, 2-3 feet where there is. We were cut off until yesterday afternoon when the kindly farm JCB appeared to dig us out.
Hence, I’m inside, doing this. I think the garden will be fine. Some of the hedges have taken on a slightly drunken aspect, their tops pressed down by a foot of snow, but they should spring back a bit when the snow melts. And if they don’t, well, the bulges and undulations add to the charm. The greenhouse roof seems to have held up and the bulbs will doze, shrouded in the protective embrace of the white powder.
It’s all very quiet and rather magical. A time to savour before spring starts up again next weekend. Maybe.