The ground is not quite as saturated as it has been; though the grass paths in the kitchen garden still squelch under foot, and there is more mud than grass where foot traffic is heaviest alongside the wood store. The main lawn seems remarkably unscathed so far despite our toing-and-froing, though definitely in need of a cut as soon as it is dry enough.
Beckoned out by blue skies and sunshine this weekend, I danced as carefully as I could through the borders; cutting back, tidying and weeding with a light hand, trying to avoid compressing the earth too much.
Everywhere there were signs of the garden waking up; shoots pushing up from nowhere, buds fattening on stems. It was exhilarating working in such a stiff bitter breeze, but the the sun was full of promise, its heat tempering the wind’s bite. I stayed my hand at cutting back some of the more tender plants while there is still cold weather to come, and resisted the temptation to dig while the water table is still so high.
There were still plenty of tasks to keep me busy, though. I cut the autumn raspberry canes back to the ground, a little later than usual; noting that buds were already emerging up the length of the canes. If I wanted to push these, I could have allowed them to unfurl this new growth and produce a small crop of early fruit before their main autumn crop, but since we already have a range of summer-fruiting canes I prefer to cut them back. The new canes should appear in the coming weeks, to flower and fruit at the end of the summer.
Back inside, then, to warm up and enjoy a homemade Bakewell tart and a cup of tea; my mind still full of the garden, schemes and dreams for the days to follow.
The kitchen garden yielded the last of our parsnips – a hefty root – and several salsify roots, which we later roasted with thyme. The salsify was very similar in taste to parsnip, though drier and not so sweet. I’m not sure it offers enough to justify the extra space in the garden when we could just add a few more parsnips; we’ll try it cooked a few different ways before we decide whether to sow more this year – or let it flower and self-sow itself.
While we finalise our growing plans for the season ahead, we are slowly continuing to harvest the vegetables that are still standing, to make space for this year’s crops – we’re going to be eating a lot of savoy cabbage in the coming months!
in Just- spring when the world is mud- luscious...
*(in Just- e.e.cummings 1920)