Snowdrops symbolise innocence, the quality that lets you declare a grand plan that will never happen. Announcing you will Feng Shui one corner a week for example. One year later you will discover that you didn’t do it. Now what? Have a word with the clutter, ask the right questions, and work out why it is still here.
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?
The Guelder Rose is full of berries. This plant is said to possess knowledge of ancient earth magic. So do I. Digging earth is a cure for stress.
Sedum, like many succulents, symbolises tranquillity, and we have plenty of that down here. This village is so quiet, you can walk around it and wonder if everyone has gone on holiday. But it has a population of several thousand, and last week we managed to annoy most of them in just 20 minutes.
Autumn creeps in under the cover of sunflowers. Yellow flowers symbolise friendship, the perfect antidote to loneliness. Loneliness is a Bad Thing and last year I decided to help get rid of it. It hasn’t exactly ended well.
The Japanese Anemone glowing in the shadows. It is a symbol of anticipation, which can be a cause of SAD. Nobody needs that back-to-school, winter-is-coming gloom but, if you are sensitive to seasons, the first ripe blackberry is enough to set it off. Time to stop looking ahead and do something about now.
This old oak was born into a village of horse-drawn carts and solitary cottages. Now it watches over sprawling estates. For centuries it has provided calm shelter for birds, and shade for saplings.
Bluebells symbolise, gratitude, humility and love. Do chickens feel these emotions? I doubt it from the look of this one.
In Japan, cherry blossom is a symbol of new beginnings and is celebrated with parties under the trees. Good idea. We are bristling with antibodies so the invites went out to come and party. Would we know how? And what would we need?
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.
It’s magnolia time. These flowers are a symbol of perseverance, which is a strong trait in rats.
Hyacinths and the sweet scents of spring. Google said they are a symbol of jealousy, but then it suggested power, peace, happiness, and pride, until it was all nonsense. The internet keeps spewing stuff out, but there are ways to avoid being overwhelmed.
In Aboriginal culture, the eucalyptus is a reminder of our interconnection with nature and the importance of links to past and future generations. This tree was planted to provide gentle shade, with a hint of rain forest. All we got was a spindly stick that thrashes about in gales. It became a reminder of ‘potential damage to a roof’. So we chopped it in half.
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 Begonias are making an effort. In summer they will do a takeover bid, swamping everything nearby, but in winter they are welcome. Collapsing under the weight of frost one minute and presenting bright pink flowers the next, Begonias are a symbol of caution.
The garden is bleak. Leaves rot on slimy paths, sunflower skeletons collapse against broken garden chairs, abandoned balls wait for dogs that don’t visit and snivelling chickens hang around the back door, hoping for company. Above all this the Pampas Plumes soar towards the sky. ‘Look at us’ they say. ‘See how we glow in the sun. Autumn is wonderful’.
When the world looks troubled, go find a Virginia Creeper, a slow firework to calm the mind. Over summer, while apple trees were fainting in the heat, the creeper was busy, going all out to engulf the greenhouse, vegetables and whatever else it could get its leaves on. Now it is queen of the month.
The Grapevine has been picking fights all summer. Throttling nearby plants, doubling in size overnight and chucking sour grapes all over the place.
This is an Honesty plant, with its paper thin seed pods glowing in the sunshine. Also known as ‘Silver Dollar’ it’s a symbol of sincerity and prosperity.
The Fuchsia bush is heavy with flowers.