Thursday 19 May 2022

Gardening with a Dodgy Knee #2

As we wallow in and out of warm weather I reflect on my ideas for the garden ( and my dodgy knee) at the top of the year: 

It’s cold and dank out there. I want to plant primulas to give a little pale colour in my front borders, now we are entering a cold, dark season. 

That change in pace. That change in feelings, in thoughts and in our sense of comfort. We emerge from a period of self indulgence; scoffing mince pies and chocolate, watching films and adjusting biblical figures in our nativity scene. 

My knee, barely oiled through indolence, suffers from negotiating the steps at eight o’ clock in the morning. Sharp spikes of cold hit my damaged kneecap. It’s barely light. There’s a film of frost glinting on the tarmac. We have to get the car out but the shock of scraping the windscreen pushes the festive period back into the shiny box of Christmas memories.

This is no longer hogmanay. It’s a bleak, barely back-to-life winter’s morning. The world is cold. I want to retreat to the comfort of the warm sitting room and not be concerned about whether the car will start. Or whether my knee will hurt. 

Down the hill the village square is devoid of human life. The lights are on at the supermarket and seem unusually welcome. We can wait in there, stay warm, do a shop, until the bus arrives. The bistro and the cafe won’t open for an hour. The bus shelter affords no protection from the icy roars belting around the corner on to this treeless pavement. In summer the heat beats through the bus shelter’s perspex roof. There is no shade. In winter there is no protection from the wind.

The farm shop with its early spring-coloured hyacinths and primulas is still in darkness. No colourful flowers for our front garden this morning. 

It’s barely dawn. We haven’t been out so early for weeks. Back then we were having the warmest December on record. It was hardly daylight but there was no winter chill. 

Now is a time for stillness. The garden will need to be still too. Not even a snowdrop has emerged. We wait.

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