The garden hasn’t given us much joy so far this year, with the coldest, wettest spring for fifty years. It did its best. It went through its usual yellow phase in March, with plenty of winter jasmine and winter aconite attempting to cheer us, and of course the dandelions did their bit. I always think it’s very kind of whoever’s in charge of these things to ensure that after the colourless winter months, the first blossoms of the year tend to be yellow – crocuses, primroses, daffodils, forsythia, catkins, and of course the above-mentioned winter jasmine and aconite. It’s as though the flowers are trying to compensate for the lack of sunshine by intensifying their own colour. Dandelions and buttercups are definitely imitation suns.
Ill health prevented me from planting anything new last year, so we are depending on the faithful perennials tough enough to fight through the weeds, and with all the lush green foliage brought on by so much rain, it is very rewarding to see that they aren’t letting us down.
Now that the sun has actually been shining long enough to dry the grass out and allow me to mow the lawn, decapitating all the dandelions and buttercups, the garden is looking quite presentable again. Removing those bright yellow faces has had an interesting effect. We have lots of bluebells – alas, the Spanish variety, not the traditional English ones, but strong and tall all the same – as well as shy periwinkle among variegated leaves, and blatant forget-me-nots. Blue is the only colour besides the green shades of the foliage, and it all makes for an unexpected serenity. It’s wonderfully calming. It makes me want to put out some chairs, sit in the sunshine and dream.
I am very aware that this mood indigo is transient, ephemeral as a butterfly, and the roses will soon be out, jollying the mood with their red, pink and cream and gold. In fact, they should be out already, but everything is about a month behind, which explains bluebells in June.
For the moment, we are caught in a very narrow band of the spectrum, and it is surprisingly beautiful. A very poignant gift.