Waving not drowning

The Hebridean Gardener’s Lament “its cold, wet and windy” or in my case the grumpy gardener blues is yet to be replaced by the sunny morning tuneless whistle as I pull on my red woolly hat and wellies and march off to the garden.

In the “edgy islands” spring does not officially start until May when the machair turns white with daisies and then golden with buttercups. So its now 21st May and the only daisies are the alien invaders in my herb garden and the gold is produced by a profusion of dandelions in the scrubby piece of grass which even flattery would not deceive to call a lawn. The herbaceous borders are verdant with chickweed and nettles and even the comfrey has a bad case of wind burn.

Apart from the rhubarb and three rows of very sulky garlic the vegetable beds are either empty or draped with enviromesh sheltering some rather straggly brassicas. As for the broad beans, they seem to have retreated back into their cardboard nursery tubes.

Thrift Armeria maritima
Pink Parade

In other words a typical Hebridean spring, if rather colder than usual. Calm sunny days appear at random like a dose of prozac to relieve the dark skies of the serial Atlantic depressions. So there are spells of manic activity in the garden followed by manic activity elsewhere – just the normal outbreak of spring fever before the onset of the white nights.

This year I resolved that I would not be gloomy about the state of my garden. I’m just a bit grumpy because it looks decidedly ragged and unkempt and if only we could have 3 or 4 calm days ………There goes the lament again! However, there a little corners which have hidden gems to remind me why I garden against the odds.

Plus the corncrakes are back, there are whimbrel (look like elegant small curlew) outside my kitchen window and on sunny days the bumbles and hoverflies appear to pollinate the blackcurrants to the sound of ascending larks! Best of all there’s a rhubarb crumble in the oven a little treat for eating spinach with everything!

Tulipa urumensis
Tulipa urumiensis

8 thoughts on “Waving not drowning

  1. She’s back – forms filled in, grants applied for etc! At least they distracted you from grumbling about the garden! Hope you enjoyed the crumble (without additiion of spinach), which reminds me to recheck your rhubarb cake now I have rhubarb again to put in it. I shall mention the corncrakes and whimbrels to the Golfer – he was in his element with the birdlife in the Orkneys, where curlews were ten a penny and even I know what a lark sounds like now.
    ps I tried munching on a wild garlic flowerhead yesterday, on your recommendation – what an amazing taste and texture it had!!

    • croftgarden

      Thank you Cathy. I’m still rushing around and neglecting my blog – must try harder. The rhubarb is great this year and if we get some sunshine I have hopes of a good crop of currants, more than can be said of the asparagus which has produced only two very weedy spears!

  2. and here in Ireland it’s the same. Latest Spring ever and the fields are almost bare, no grass for the cows. A farming disaster is imminent if there is no improvement soon.

    • croftgarden

      It is still desperate here too with very little grass and too wet for ploughing! Fortunately we escaped the really bad winter weather and lambing has gone well.

  3. Your lawn looks fine to me, especially with the beautiful sea-view just beyond.

    • croftgarden

      More of a flowery (weedy) mead than a lawn – but it looks green for a distance.

  4. Astrid

    Everyone’s entitled to be grumpy, especially when Mother Nature does not cooperate. I think every blog I read is complaining about a colder and later-than-average Spring so do not feel alone. But you do have blackcurrants and rhubarb – 2 of my favourite things! Enjoy!

    • croftgarden

      Hi Astrid, sorry about the late reply. Definitely not grump today the sunshine has bought the tuneless whistle back!

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