Love is all around

When it gets to this time of year we’re bombarded from every angle by Valentine’s Day – cards, gifts, flowers, chocolates, meals – need I go on? That’s OK if you have someone in your life you want to spend Valentine’s Day with, but what if you can’t be with them, because they’re not nearby or worse still, no longer with us? There’s so much hype nowadays, all geared around selling us stuff of course – the Easter eggs are on the shelves already!

Now Valentine’s Day is a special time for Grumbling Rose and me, because it’s the anniversary of when we met – 47 years ago – just goes to show I have the patience of a saint! We won’t be celebrating together this year because he’ll be on his 3rd, yes 3rd, skiing holiday of 2023. You may ask why I don’t accompany him. Quite simply, I dislike everything skiing involves – the unwieldy skis, the rigid boots, ski lifts of any variety, not to mention the cold. Then there’s the rigmarole involved in having a wee wearing ski gear – in a toilet I mean, not in the ski gear – although it can be a close call, in view of the time it takes to partially disrobe, in a miniscule toilet cubicle. And as for the après ski – I don’t know how anyone summons up the energy after a day on the piste. I’m better off at home with my little dog Lily and my garden.

It’s at this time of year I start to fall in love with my garden all over again. We’re coming out of the dreary winter months and enjoying dainty snowdrops, cheerful aconites, hellebores, winter jasmine and the fragrances of mahonia, viburnum and winter box. Daffodils, hyacinths and anemones are peeping out from the soil and will soon add even more colour to the garden.

I’ve got several types of sweet peas on the go in my plastic greenhouses – I’ll sow some more soon, so in theory I’ll be able to extend the flowering period. I’ve also got a variety of seedlings in there making a valiant effort to survive. While GR is away I’ll be ramping up the seed sowing, making use of my indoor greenhouse, aka the conservatory!

Many of the strawberry runners I planted up in the Autumn are looking good, as are the ox eye daisy plants I grew from seed last year – they should flower this year. The garlic is coming up nicely but something’s had a nibble at my shallot tips. I potted up some cuttings from Rosie and Daisy’s salvia ‘Hotlips’ last year – the leaves are still green, so surely there must be some roots supporting them by now – I’ll have to brave a look. The geranium ‘Rozanne’ I divided (well more like hacked to pieces) also looks to be alive – a miracle, although the cuttings I took from my white pot geraniums look a bit suspect. On the wildlife front, the birds are very active and eating me out of house & home. The blue tits are checking out my tit box again, so they must be in the mood for love.

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  1. Your hard work is being rewarded, stunning colours there. It’s a fantastic time of year with the garden waking up from winter. And I can’t believe how tall your sweet peas are already (mine are still in the packet). I look forward to hearing how the tits get on this year. ❤️

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  2. 47 years…you don’t get that for murder (the oldest aren’t always the best)
    Yes, I’m excited (if a little daunted ) at the prospect of tidying, weeding, cutting back (should’ve already done that) digging, planting then doing it all over again…and again – a Sisyphean task but so enjoyable!

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