This post has been bought to you by the colour yellow, with a touch of blue thrown in for good measure.
If you were to think of spring, the colour that immediately springs to mind is green. All that fresh new growth. The green is luminescent and vibrant and you can almost feel alive because of it. Its sense of well being and hope for the future is almost infectious. But we aren’t there yet. We still have 20 more days of winter. Although the signs are beginning to show.
Winter is not ready to relinquish its grip just yet and continues to pour cold water on our enthusiasm. But as a soggy season, weary gardener it is easy to see beyond the drab and embrace the hints of the new season that are emerging. And it isn’t the green that is drawing my attention, possibly because it is showing up everywhere, but the yellow. It is bright and blousy and stands out on a bleak day. It cuts through and grey and you can’t help but smile at its bravery and defiance. ‘The conditions are terrible, but that’s ok with me – I’ll hold my head tall in spite of it’ it seems to say and each time I see the amount of yellow sneaking into the garden I feel myself standing taller.
Of course the most famous yellow at this time of year is the daffodil and I have loads of them everywhere and some smell so incredible. Being able to stop throughout the day and breathe in the delicious scent, instead of just rushing by, reminds me to slow down. Nature is calling me to join its rhythm. At this time of year when the season gets going there is a temptation to rush to get things done. This season I intend to hurry slowly so I can appreciate all that is going on in my garden.
Other yellows while bright and cheerful and add to the overall enthusiasm of the spring like scene, individually aren’t such a welcome presence. Firstly because of the incessant rain my cover crops never did very well. Instead of the tall forest of green mustard plants I have been waiting for, they have all burst into flower while well short of their expected height. To add to the woes of this situation, the ground is too wet to dig them in lest I destroy my soil structure. I think I’m going to have to do a ‘chop and drop’ and hope the worms pull their weight and drag the nutrients back down into the soil in time for planting.
The other day – while listening to the BBC’s radio show Gardeners Question Time, I heard that cover crops are ideal for gardens in wet situations over winter as it locks the nutrients into the plants and prevents them being washed away, then by chopping them down and adding them back to the soil the nutrients are returned as the plant rots down and are available to the next crop. I already knew the benefits of cover crops – that’s why I use them, but this explanation for me was one of those moments when the penny drops and things make even more sense than they did before.
The other problematic yellow in my garden is in the flower bed. It is bed 35 in sector 5 so its care falls into the region of a Friday afternoon. Which to be honest does diminish its chances of a thorough overall. So the last time I weeded it I gave it a good going over – but it could have been better. And now I have horrible little groundsel flowers all over the place and about to burst their fluffy little seed pods all over the place. This is a nasty little weed because it seeds so quickly. I’m going to have to do a bit of Friday weeding on a Thursday to nip this one in the bud – and soil structure may inadvertently be destroyed in the process.
But is isn’t all bad. My blueberries already look like they are set for a bumper harvest. This year I may even share them as it is looking like there will be way more than what I can snack on as I go about my gardening business.
Come again soon – I have another project on the go.
Sarah the Gardener : o)