Finally. It’s here; the lime chlorophyll of new leaves clashing against the periwinkle blue sky, so bright and vibrant it almost hurts the eyes; but I can’t look away because I can’t get enough of it. There is fullness where once there were naked skeletons. As the saying goes, no winter lasts forever and no spring skips its turn. The soil is warming, there is green abundance along the roadsides, purple mosaics of bluebells, dazzling yellow dandelions. I’m a pretty careful observer of nature in the garden, but one blink and everything has grown again, or blossomed or bloomed.
I have been lucky in spotting a variety of wildlife, as if they too have woken up with the warmth. I have spotted two a sleek sinous mustelids, on different occasions, racing across the road. The stoats look almost comedic with their short legs and long bodies. I spied a jay swooping across the garden, disappearing into next door’s foliage. A song thrush has been playing on the lawn and a slow worm who was too slow and sleepy, narrowly missing my spade as I dug through woodchippings. I held it for a moment before depositing it on the compost heap. Sadly I’m not feeling optimistic about our hedgehog though, there is one splayed on the road outside our house.
One of my favourite smells is that of the blackcurrant bush. Brushing past it, at any time of year, elicits the delicious odour of its berries, but in spring it seems thicker and richer with the promise of a branches dripping with fruit. The rhubarb too has emerged sending me rushing to the cook books for recipes of tarts, compotes and jam. I am impatient for it all to ripen and glut.
Seed watch continues unabated. I am in danger of turning into a boring obsessive but I am determined to succeed this year where I failed last year. I am into my third round of sowing for Lord Leicester Peas, (watch this space for the Great Wall of Pea) and the sweetcorn and runner beans are just pushing gently but persistently through the loam. The tall purple beans have been planted out too, as have the courgettes, broad beans and mixed lettuces. Everything is shooting up, even the children seem to have grown.