It was warm and light enough for the first time last night for me to drift out into the garden and read half the paper in the evening light. As I wandered about checking on the new arrivals (more narcissus, grape hyacinth, the black-leaved celandines) I noticed flecks of white scattered across the ground. Ash? From a bonfire? (My neighbour two doors down was celebrating the first spring evening with their first bonfire.) But then I noticed a lack of shadow, glanced up and back neighbour had finally has topped their hedge, at two-storey height, with a chainsaw. I was looking at flecks of sawdust shed by the hedge, now shorter, more slender, straight across the top and slightly diaphanous in the upper reaches. I've still got a bit of overhang on my side to deal with (here's hoping the ladder and the long lopper will deal) but this year may see light at the back of the garden, finally.
The passion vine looks at its tiredest at this time of year, brown leaves clinging on in protective huddles over the more exposed stems, long trails of cold-sacrificed stems whitening in the spring rain. I'm unwilling to do anything until frost has passed (we're not past frost yet) but maybe that's just as well as I am very, very tired from work at the moment.
The compost is looking good. I should get a good mulch for the top bed from it this year, and year on year the soil is becoming less of a wasteland of concrete dust and clay and more a living part of the garden. It's not such bad soil, but it's not very even - dry hard rough patches and patches of high fertility. Old John across the road says this is because the man who lived here before the people before us kept pigeons out back. The compost will have to wait though, as I'll need a clear half day to do the job right and that's not on the cards right now.
Inside, my multi-coloured veg seedlings (purple calabash tomatoes, white aubergines, rainbow twilight chillies, etc.) are starting to damp off in their little propagator trays. They're not going to wait, so right here, the Vampire Chillies especially (if I get any to adulthood, they will make fruit like like little black vampire teeth!) So right now, still in my work clothes, it's potting-on o'clock.