21 May 2009
TIME PASSES QUICKLY
It’s lunchtime. I’m in the van parked up on Breach Common. There’s a song thrush repeating a constant triplicate series of different notes from woodland beyond the willowherb below. A fairy fluff of windborne seeds waft across on a breeze from the west. Pussy willow maybe? It’s a fabulous May day; warm but not hot, vibrant with life and sunshine.
Funny how time seems to pass quicker in the summertime. It must be because there is so much to do. Everything is growing and yet, in a month, the year will turn again from wax to wane.
In the garden and on the plot this means a hectic fortnight. I have yet to get any cucurbits (that’s squashes, courgettes and cucumbers) into the soil outside and still have plenty of French beans in pots which need planting too.
It only takes one thing or another to crop up and the day goes on. Now is important not to procrastinate but take a few moments to do what need to be done. For me that means planting out squash (my home saved seeds dubbed Beauty Of St James) and courgette, Tromba D’Albegena. I’m going home to do that right now.
THE LIGHT ON THE ALLOTMENT
It’s the clarity of the light on my allotment which can reduce me to a spellbound standstill. Location is everything, of coarse.
At home, though south facing and less than five minutes away, the shade cast by houses, trees and garden buildings means that everywhere only enjoys full radiance at different times. This communal allotment field, however, halfway betwixt ancient Saxon hilltop town and bosom of the Blackmore Vale, basks unfettered in whatever sun the day has to offer from dawn til dusk. And that is why, even when it’s cloudy, the air is so clean. When it’s sunny the light can be crystal clear.
This afternoon is classic for the time of year: the continuous applause of children’s voices from school fields across yonder, bubbling trills of flighty house martins not long returned and already nesting, whistling blackbirds, bees, the background chatter of sparrows. Amongst soft fruit with the sunshine on my back, this could be heaven.
But lo! At this instant (the ’the’ of ’with the sunshine’) I’ve spotted gooseberry sawfly caterpillars on the fresh, pale green maple-like leaves. Shall I let them bide or take action? These are the dilemmas which constantly face a gardener.
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