According to Wiccan beliefs, a geranium near your front door is useful for warning you when strangers are approaching. Oh, the wonders of Google. Is the geranium going to bark like a dog?
Advent Sunday. A day to light a candle, and think about shopping. Exeter this week was full of city noise, bus fumes, and Black Friday frenzy. I went there to meet someone, not shop, so it was easy to despise everybody else for being too consumerist, but then I had to hang around waiting, and that changed.
We have Covid at the farm now. You can admire the pretty flowers outside the barn but don’t go near the door. The person who lives there is locked in his flat until he gets better. This is bad news because we can’t use the communal washing machine downstairs.
The new variant is settling in quickly. Our government seems more surprised about this than our scientists do. The rest of us talk about nonsense travel rules and worldwide vaccine distribution. Then we wonder if the UK road map to reopening might end up looking like this footpath.
Forget-me-nots and grape hyacinth, rulers of the border. Google says they are weeds, but the weeds everywhere else are much worse.
Einstein suggested that time is not constant. He probably started thinking about this after a tough slow winter. One day he was glad that February was done, the next he was staring at his Camelia bush wondering where the hell March went. I know how he felt.
The east winds are biting and the crocuses bite back, stubbornly forcing their way up through frozen earth. Crocuses symbolize a Brighter Tomorrow, which means planning. Time to think about February jobs in the garden.
The garden is frozen in suspended animation. Hints of catkins, tips of buds and bulbs, an army of daffodils, hyacinths, and forget-me-nots in waiting. But the moss on the lawn is growing fast. What is moss for? I did some research.
Cold grey, dark grey, more grey. Even blue Monday was grey. Sometimes there is a blinding shaft of low winter sun, instantly lifting everything like a magic spell.
The snowdrops are here. Time to step AWAY from Christmas and the disappointing debris of sherry, stuffing and cold potatoes.
The chickens are about two years old today. This Borage, all dancing flowers and dainty hairs, is supposedly a favourite with chickens. Time they got a treat, for managing to still be here.
A confused rose has flowered and the tomato glut keeps weirdly glutting. As well as the normal November business, we are forced to eat tomatoes and pick roses. Is this a sign that things are different this year?
The holly tree is groaning with berries and we’re all groaning about Christmas. There are three things to worry about.
If you are an insect the main flower right now is ivy. Pale green and packed with nectar, providing a late supper for everybody getting ready to hibernate.
Rain at last. A whole day of fat, noisy rain. Bouncing off hard soil and soaking dusty leaves until they sparkle. Almost as exciting as snow. I took photos of raindrops on grateful plants and and felt poetic. ‘Diamond drops on leaves’, and maybe ‘no longer will I sneeze’ sounded good.
Weeds are easy to grow. All you need is a square inch of earth, or a crack in a stone. Look away and the weed will turn up, especially Dandelions. The problem is whether you see them or not.
The shabby old sage is flowering and splendid. It is the last remnant of a herb garden, planted long ago in a fit of enthusiasm. It is one thing to plant a herb garden and a whole other thing to remember where you planted it, let alone weeding, watering and knowing what to do with the herbs that survive. That is the trouble with new projects.
This is the last bright forget me not. The rest are dropping seeds on fading bluebells. Clearing them away is like packing up Christmas decorations. The explosion of colour, that made every corner look special, is coming to an end.