My superpower

This morning there was a guest on the radio talking about jobs for the garden this week. The sun was shining, so when it came to go for a walk during our lunch break, I opted out and grabbed the secateurs instead. I have a difficult task planned for this spring – replacing two rotting wooden boxes at the back of the garden with a proper greenhouse – and I have already booked the greenhouse installation for February.

The biggest achievement of 2020 was creating a Hügelkultur in our urban garden, that we named Mound Juliette (Hügel means mound, and it was a word play on Mount Juliet, a beautiful place near Kilkenny we spent a weekend at a couple of years back). The mound incorporated the leftovers of an old pergola, and a lot of branches and leaves resulted from the spring clean, plus our own compost. During the first lockdown, I tried very hard to buy a shredder, but to no avail. And one day, Google brought up an add about tool hire, and we hired one for 24h from the nearby HSS branch. We arranged everything online, and the shredder got delivered to our door and collected the next day.

There’s a lot growing on our Mound Juliette this January – from purple sprouting broccoli to red kale, parsley, chives and garlic. And they all survived the frost unharmed.

So I went out and cut a bush that will need to go away to make place for the greenhouse, moved a blackcurrant into a big pot, and distributed a few buckets of compost around the garden. The sun was shining, the robins and starlings kept on popping by for food, and suddenly I felt that this was the best medication for me. Pruning is my spring superpower – it gives me a sense of atonement, helps me observe and imagine how each plant will grow and occupy space throughout the season. And it strikes me how much I resemble my father, who was an avid gardener, but always crammed too many plants in the limited space, because he liked them all so much!

And then I turned around and found this daring snowdrop. It must have been out last week, when it snowed and we had a night with -4 C. But nobody had time to see it and admire its bravery! Thank you, little snowdrop. You made my day!

January 13 2021 04:14 pm | Limerick

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