I like a flurry of the white stuff, even a bit of a drift of it from time to time. I love how snow transforms the landscape and that strange quiet that accompanies its fall but I had rather got round to thinking that Spring was on its way. I’ve got my list of jobs to tackle at the allotment, storage areas to tidy, a path to lay, compost to be spread but Mother nature has had other ideas and snow is falling here in Wales. I’m sure all across the country there are frustrated gardeners confined indoors frowning as the flakes fall.
Patience is not one of my strong points. A virtue it may be but it’s not one that comes naturally to me. People seem to assume I’ll be a patient person because I’m a gardener, well I must be musn’t I? I have to wait for all those seed things to germinate and for my favourite flowers to bloom and crops to ripen when I could have just bought them at the supermarket, is what some non-gardening acquaintances think. When I think about it, there are so many things to be impatient about as a gardener. There are the plants that seem to take an age to grow. I planted a Trachelospermum asiaticum a couple of years ago only to discover it can take years to get established. We’ll have probably moved before it flowers. The day after sowing seed the ritual of checking the pots for germination will begin. I have yet to discover a seed that has germinated over night but that doesn’t stop me checking.
I have a fairly complicated seed sowing schedule because I grow everything from seed using 2 window sills and 2 cold frames which leads to a frantic and ever so slightly stressful April and May. My patience wears thin as the weather invariably plays havoc with my planting plans and some seeds, such as Didiscus, turn out to be erratic germinators. The exceptionally mild spring last year meant a lot of plants were ready to go in the ground but with the danger of the weather turning cold I had to keep potting everything on. It did get to the point where it looked like the plants were taking over the house.
On the other hand I know plenty of people who wouldn’t even bother with any of it. So maybe I am more patient than I think. Or maybe it is gardening and it’s ability to bring out the best in people. Maybe plants are forcing me to realise that not everything is in my control. So rather than sit and grumble at the grey, leaden sky and snowy scene outside I watched the birds on the feeders and sat down with a cup of tea and some gardening books from the library. There’ll be plenty of time for rushing around in the weeks and months to come and then I’ll be telling everyone I don’t have time to read any books or just watch the birds.