Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sudden Spring

Spring is sudden: it is her quality,
However carefully we watch for her,
However long delayed
The green in the winter'd hedge
The almond blossom
The piercing daffodil,
Like a lovely woman late for her appointment
She's suddenly here, taking us unawares,
So beautifully annihilating expectation
That we applaud her punctual arrival.

 Gerald Bullett (1893-1958)

Spring certainly is long delayed this year,by the end of March last year the blackthorn was in full bloom and there were wood anenomes, celandines and the first of the bluebells in flower. It's a completely different story this year, the buds on the blackthorn on Blackamoor are still tightly shut and in Ecclesall Woods although the green spikes of bluebell leaves are pushing through there's no sign whatever of the windflowers and celandine. However I can offer you the first of the 'piercing daffodil' I have just two or three groups of the smaller daffodils flowering giving some hope that Spring might not be far away. The crocus' are still flowering well but the light is poor today so they have declined to open up fully.

Another tiny splash of colour comes from a little group of chionodoxia, the blue is much more intense than it appears in the photo.

My ordinary yellow primroses are just starting to flower but the named varieties are further on, this one os a white double called 'Dawn Ansell'.

My garden is a complete shambles though not quite such a shambles as it was a couple of weeks ago. Due to being in Suffolk until early October and then a very wet autumn I did very little indeed at the end of last year, normally I'd expect to be able to work in my garden until well into December. The photo shows a scene of before and after, I work from the bottom up towards the house so the worst part is most obvious from the french windows and doesn't allow me to pretend it isn't there! Of course all the dead leaves will be falling off the beech hedges any time now so there will be no resting on my laurels even when I do finally cross the finishing line!

Up on Blackamoor the scene is even more dead looking than my garden but finally yesterday I spotted two brave little plants peeping through, this is golden saxifrage which grows in damp areas and has pretty yellow flowers when the buds eventually open and.....

..... further up the path I was delighted to see the first of the coltsfoot pushing through though they too remain tightly furled.

This is why they are so reluctant to flower -  it's still very cold up on Blackamoor! B Baggins and I walked up to Piper House Gate and across the top path to Devil's Elbow yesterday morning and there are still some patches of snow here and there.

So here I am, out of hibernation again:) Thank you for the kind enquiries as to my well being, there's been nothing wrong, just a general lethargy and lack of inspiration due to the grey skies and freezing temperatures.
I've been busy in other directions though, the village walk leaflet that my friend P and I have written has been published and proved to be very popular indeed - we wish we'd had more printed now!

I suspect I'm going to be even busier in the months to come! Apart from various outings and a new local history project that P and I have begun and the transcription I'm going to do of our local school's admission registers I'm also going to be doing quite a lot of knitting. I've just bought some yarn ready to knit another one of these......

.....those of you who have been with me for some time may recognize this. I've knitted four of them so far, one for each grandchild.I'm about to begin on a fifth one as Gabriel and George will be having a new brother or sister in the summer. Although I'm already sure which the baby will be I've backed the horse both ways with the new yarn as it has both pink and blue flecks in it:)


Mac n' Janet said...

Welcome back, I've missed your postings, I know what you mean about the garden, we've had a cold, wet, for here, winter too and I'm very late getting things organized.
Congratulations on the new grandchild.

the wild magnolia said...

delightful observations of spring. to walk among nature, see earth in blossom and tender green sprouts, imprints the coming season on my heart.

the yarn all white and soft, the pattern, varied texture and design. comforting.

thank you for sharing.

Jan said...

Congratulations on the new grandbaby! I have an afghan to finish for my newest and then a new nephew on the way will require another one. I've got to get busy!

Iris Rose said...

Oooooooo a new post! I have really missed your lovely nature photos and all of your insights. I am especially excited about the knitting project. It means a great deal to wrap up my little bundles in something that their granny has lovingly and so beautifully made. The two boys sleep with them every night without fail. I also think we are of the same mind about baby number three! This feels so very different. Glad to be reading your blog again x

Bovey Belle said...

Congratulations on the new grandchild on the way and what a beautiful blanket to knit him/her. You are further on than me with the garden as I have had to abandon it so I can crack on with research for my Edward Thomas talk. I'm starting to panic now!

Well done with the Totley Village Walk brochure too. You will have to do another local one : )

Our celendines are going over in places now, and we have windflowers everywhere and the first marsh marigolds are in flower (in my garden). The wild ones are slower.

Roy Norris said...

This recent poor weather doesn't give anyone any inspiration to get up and go anywhere D. We are a about a month behind with Spring
Lovely show of flowers you have taken.
Surprised you still have some snow hanging around. Now that the Southerly winds are arriving things are sure to get better.

Mary said...

Thrilled you're back and thanks for the comment dear. I was getting a bit concerned but know how it is when in Winter's icy grip............just happy to know you are OK. Expecting another grandchild is lovely news, hope all goes well for mum and baby. The blanket is so beautiful Rowan, you really are an accomplished knitter to create something with a pattern that gorgeous.

Your brochure is lovely - glad people are excited about doing the walk - bet it's scenic.

Sending you some of our already too hot for me weather - everything blooming in the past few days and now the pollen is raining down on us - really heavy this Spring. I walked early afternoon - a stiff breeze and clouds of yellow were choking me so I had to cut my route short and get back home. Then I worked in the garden a bit - it's been unattended for so long, so don't feel bad about yours!

Hang in there, Spring is really on its way.
Hugs - Mary

ChrisJ said...

A lovely poem and I love the analogy to a beautiful women late for her appointment. Very insightful.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

What a winter we've had! Celandines and Violets, Pulmonaria etc. all in flower here by the sea.
A grandbaby to look forward to - how lovely!

Louise said...

Nice to see you again! How lovely to hear you have another grandchild coming. You found quite a few signs of spring, I obviously haven't looked hard enough!

White Scar Cave was great, the children would love it I'm sure. You could visit the cave, then pop into Ingleton for lunch and then take the waterfall trail, if the little legs can manage the walk - that's what will feature in my next post :)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh so nice to see you back - and your spring photos are wonderful. I love the little touches of spring as they creep in - and then that burst when the days are finally longer and a little warmer.

Congratulations on the the new grandbaaby - I like the expression your used - backed the horse both ways - I'd not heard that before. I think the blue/pink speckled yarn will be perfect.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Oh I'm glad you have knitting to keep you cozy! What beautiful work you do. Nice having a garden tour even this early. It will be so beautiful! So nice that you stopped by to see my lilacs. Sending sunshine your way!

Jessica Cangiano said...

Joyful start of spring wishes, dear Rowan! What a treat to see a new post from you as we make our way through April. It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate this season (same here). I hope that you'll get in plenty of time for fun and relaxation all throughout these mild, beautiful springtime days.

♥ Jessica

Star said...

I'm sure your garden will catch up soon. Mine is just the same. I am wondering what will pull through from the bad winter and what will need replacing. Just have to wait and see during this month, I suppose. Lovely blanket you have made. I am doing the same thing. My new grandchild is due in five week's time.

Diane said...

Someone knitted one for my first baby too Rowan - it is lovely. Glad you are out of hibernation. xxx

acornmoon said...

We also have a George. I am in awe of your knitting!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everything is fine with you. Spring is arrived here too, suddenly we went from 8°C to 26°C!

Stephen Prosser said...

Nice to see pictures of the garden. Looking forward to visiting again - or rather staying as it will most likely be in August. Looking at doing some cricket with dad!

Amazing to hear that the daffodils are only surfacing now. Bit of a disaster for St David's Day and further evidence of the cooling climate I have been talking about for 6 years. Daffodils were springing forth in mid to late February just a decade ago. The winters I talked about a few years ago are now becoming reality.

Ruthie Redden said...

Lovely to see the beginnings of Spring in your neck of the woods, things are all tight shut up here still. A trip down South last week proved very interesting to watch the world get "greener" the further South we traveled. I do love your baby blankets, good luck with the knitting. Im so excited as our very 1st grandchild is due in June and I am making a wee patchwork quilt for her.

Strawberry Lane said...

Beautiful photos of your spring flowers. Your needlework is exquisite, so lovely. Congrats on a new grandchild.

Mary said...

Hope all is well dear and that you are enjoying being a new granny once again - must be keeping you busy!

My niece is finishing up her summer work in a South African village - it's been such an eye opener! She is visiting Kruger this week before flying home.

Hope soon you will post and share the latest news from your corner with us - missing you.
Mary X