Monday, March 23, 2009

A Bath garden

Bath at this time of year springs into life literally, blossom is to be seen in Victoria Park, and the yellow of forsythia cascades through everyone's garden. Daffodils dance down Lansdown Lane, and in the Archery Field where I occasionally walk the dog, or at least throw his ball interminably, the yellow of celandine can be seen lining both sides of the ditch of one of the streams that cascade down from the Lansdown itself. On the slopes if you look up, you may spot deer, a muntjac shot out the other day five yards in front of a group of dogwalkers much to the surprise of the dogs.
But in the garden, spring can be seen as getting underway. Butterflies, the yellow of the brimstone, and brown ones dance around each other, great queen bumble bees buzz slowly past looking for a new home in the bank or lawn. Frogs have been and gone around the pond, and the hawthorns I planted years ago, are breaking into that green foliage one can nibble on. At the bottom of the garden is a bank, which I have always allowed to be wild, it holds its history in the plants it produces, it was once part of the garden of the old Victorian house behind.

There is an old holly tree from the 19th century, the great trunk of a dead Japanese cherry tree, double petalled in its day, that we hung a swing on years ago. Japanese knotweed makes an appearance on this bank, as does Iris foetidissmus, at the moment there is the blue flowers of brunnera, earlier on a pale mauve crocus would sprinkle the grass, again a relic from the Victorian garden. Yellow primroses carpet this end of the garden now, a couple coloured pink where they have managed to hybridise with the later coloured primulas perhaps. The lovely fresh leaves of the cow parsely, to flower later in April, scenting the air faintly with a honey smell.. Rushes are everywhere, this is due to the stream that once meandered through the land.

Ponds have been dug in the garden, the larger one destroyed by an over-enthusiatic young dog called Moss in his heyday, the reeds produce long spires of golden brown seedheads which scatter their fine seed all over the garden, and it is an annual chore to pull these young plantlets out.

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