If you look closely there are signs of spring – buds swelling, hazel catkins lengthening, a clump of snowdrops in a sheltered corner – but overall the garden isn’t photogenic just now. Newly dug earth and beds mulched with compost have their own beauty, at least to a gardener’s eye, but it would take a better photographer than me to capture their sense of late winter possibility.
Climbing to the top of the field gives a bird’s eye view of the garden’s development, with the distraction of the sea view beyond. Here’s the view in March last year with newly planted flower beds radiating from the two circular lawns and two rows of young fruit trees.
And here’s the view this week, taken from further up the hill. You can just see the third row of fruit trees, below the foreground of dry grass stems. Last year’s flower beds are indistinct under a protective layer of compost but newly dug ground stands out clearly.
This year the progress isn’t all my own work. I’m territorial about my long-awaited orchard and my spouse knows not to offer any help with planting or pruning. To the right of the grass path leading towards the house I’ve been digging and leveling a new lawn – you can just see the contrast between the rough dug and smooth raked halves – but I’m running out of steam on that and may be glad of some help to get it ready for March sowing. To the left of the grass path is Martin’s new vegetable plot, double dug since New Year in the first weeks of retirement. That’s his domain. We garden better together when we’re not treading on each other’s toes.