Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring is here to stay!

Walking up to the woods yesterday I realised that spring has really arrived - no cold snap or arctic blast can put it back into its box now - it's well and truly here. Although there was a frost on Wednesday night, by 8.30 am it had disappeared from all but the deepest shade, and the sunshine was hot on my shoulders. Amy huffed and puffed along like a black furry steam train. She is not fond of the warmer months as a combination of thick black fur and a round body does not make for comfort when the days grow hotter. Her favourite place to snooze is in the old stone courtyard at the back of the house where the sun barely reaches even in the highest dog days of summer.

Today we walked down to Batson Creek. We haven't been this way for a while and I was struck by the sheets of acid yellow rape with its distinctive smell. I don't mind it, I think it looks like sunshine fallen to the ground on even the gloomiest days, though I know many people think it's too bright and alien in our mellow English landscape. Luckily the swans weren't around today and we spent a long time at the creek. I found some lovely broken pieces of old blue and white china half buried in the mud, while Ben and Amy found some less lovely smelly seaweed and unidentifiable slimy objects by rootling around where the trees overhang the water.

I shall try to paint the china pieces, I love the combination of blue and white, so classic and timeless. I've just finished painting two Bernese Mountain Dog puppies for friends in the village, so the china will be a different challenge, quite different to my usual subjects.

I've been re-reading Vita Sackville-West's epic poems, "The Land" and "The Garden". Although I find some parts very heavy, others really sing to me as she is so in tune with nature and the seasons. As our gardens and hedgerows burst into life, I particularly enjoy these few lines ....

" .... But for this summer's quick delight
Sow marigold, and sow the bright
Frail poppy that with noonday dies
But wakens to a fresh surprise;
Along the pathway stones be set
Sweet Alysson and mignonette,
That when the full midsummer's come
On scented clumps the bees may hum,
Golden Italians, and the wild
Black bumble-bee alike beguiled:
And lovers who have never kissed
May sow the cloudy Love-in-Mist."

Great planting plan, beautiful evocative words .... spring is really here now!

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin