Sunday, 7 February 2010

A 'Mary Lennox' moment

Mary Lennox is the heroine of this book. This is the copy my grandmother bought me in the early 60's because she had loved the story so.
Although it is so grey and dull in the garden this weekend, something has definitely changed. The air smells different and the birds are singing, tuning up. Our robin sings hidden in a holly and I can hear another singing back from a few gardens away. The dunnocks are chasing each other round and round the hedge so I can't decide if there are two or three or four of them. And of course poking up through the dead leaves and tangled stems are the crocuses and daffodils and narcissus. The Mary Lennox of the story is a spoilt little girl from an colonial family in India who has been orphaned and taken to live in chilly Yorkshire. Left to  her own devises she learns to skip in the gardens of the large house where she lives and discovers a locked walled garden which she secretly works in. Of course Mary's personality blooms with the garden and the book has a very happy ending. (Curiously I went on to marry a 'Colin', the name of the boy in the story - although my Colin calls himself Tod - but that is another story).The descriptions of the garden's return to life has never left me, and I know it is a favourite read of many of you.  As  I went into the garden to take the netting off the bowls of bulbs I planted up last autumn. (The netting stops the squirrels digging them up) Mary Lennox sprang into my mind. I thought I'd also get out the watercolours, and like the robin I have done a couple of tuning-up sketches.
These are called February Gold - I wonder if they will live up to their name.
I have little success growing snowdrops in my garden. I don't know why. It may be that I disturb the bulbs in the summer, and although I have tried planting them in out of the way places they seem to disappear after a couple of years.  I was given a potful a couple of years ago and took some successful photographs of one when I set up some lighting as part of my photography course. I have one little rather weedy flower this year where I planted this out. So fingers crossed it will be there next year!

I hope your weekend hasn't been too dull - just go and look for those bulbs!