Beyond the opening rhyme of this blog, the collection of poems which closely followed took a decidedly melancholic turn before finally chilling out with a veggie lunch.

I brought them with me from my previous garden and blog. Baggage. The former, a modestly sized beginner’s plot belonging to a small, red-brick, 1930s semi in an old mining village – a warm, happy house of ten years which I was sad to say goodbye to; the latter, an expletive ridden rant about this, that and the other which, frankly, I’m glad to see the back of. I rescued the least depressing verses from an unceremonious burial in internet obscurity because, somehow, I felt sorry for them. Yes, I know.

The imported poetic gloom isn’t entirely gratuitous. It gently (or heavy-handedly – I can’t quite decide which) illustrates just one of the many reasons why I garden: the pursuit of good mental health. Creating and maintaining it.

I hauled shed loads of terracotta pots and all manner of reclaimed timber and metal  junk from the old garden to our new one but I transplanted only a single tree – a young eucalyptus which had only been in the ground since late last Spring. Its stake had snapped and I feared for its vertical future. The hornbeam, magnolia, ornamental cherries, birches, rowans, crab apple and beautiful purple fountain beech tree I left behind, all too tall and firmly embedded to be uprooted. I ambivalently left the shrubs, bulbs and perennials in situ too. The garden had evolved as a whole and it just didn’t seem right to carve any of it up and take it away. Neither did I want a bird, bee and bug uprising on my hands or conscience.

Now my eyes have dried and Spring is just beyond the horizon, I’m seeing the full horticultural potential of this large, crumbling, unkempt space that we have recently become custodians of in all its glorious Winter scruffiness. New trees – two Wintergold pines and a Juneberry (so far) – have already started lining up at the back door (sheltering from the 50mph winds that ripped their way through the garden last night) and old snowdrops and irises have begun heroically pushing their delicate heads up through the uneven, compacted ground. A whole new world of surprise, delight and hard digging awaits, expectantly, outside the kitchen window. I’d better put the kettle on…

(If you would like to follow these journal entries in chronological order, please scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a right-pointing arrow which will take you to the next chronological post.)