Five merry robins in their scarlet vests, rejoicing in the branches of the Mountain Ash; the constant drip of the melting snow coming through the drain pipe, softly gurgling and requiring a vigilant eye to keep emptied the small pail it splashes into; the emergence of walnuts on the roof next door as the snow gradually retreats from the peak, and the industry of the Nut Crackers and Flickers as they scoop up the opportunity to fill their little tummies.
And underneath the snow that got piled on the flower bed in the back yard, green leaves, blossoming hellebore, tender bulb stubs reaching upwards, ever upwards.
I bring down my garden diary from the shelf and draft new beds – speak to the minister of the community church who is also the source of wonderful composty (full of couch grass, alas) top soil from his feed lot, and think about what other peonies and iris and poppies need to be divided up in the Hillside Garden, and where I will l put them in the new beds. We shall have an English Garden again!!
Occasionally the sky clears. The sun travels well above the ridge of the mountain top. At night the waxing moon is seen through the trees that lie to the west, and sometimes there are tender pink clouds in the east before the greyness envelopes us once again.
I look at the tangled climbers, and wonder who will prune Charles’ roses to his satisfaction, – it will have to be someone who takes directions from ‘on high’, so to speak!
The sweetness of the pussy willow sends me scurrying for the clippers – I clip a few, along with some branches from the red willow, the hazelnut tree, and the japonica, hoping they will add some fresh tender leaves to the winter greenery.
The air is warm and the breeze is gentle, and all this whispers SPRING and is a wonderful, wonderful distraction .