Monday, 2 December 2013
Advent Diary, day 2 - In The Garden
On a cold, dank, misty 2nd December gardening was less a pleasure than it’s ever been. But needs must, there were the final leaves to be swept off the lawn, gutters to be cleared, the most unsightly of the herbaceous clumps to be cut down, previously dug up dahlia tubers to be laid in boxes, stem side up and covered in compost, ready for sprouting next spring. The job which saddens me most of all is the final rose pruning. I leave buds and half-open flowers for as long as possible, well after the first frost; the bushes look totally lopsided and unnatural before I tackle the task. Long stems with a cluster of buds at the end reach into grey skies, wind beaten and defiant, However, if I want to safeguard the bushes, I must cut all long, sappy growth back, regardless of flowers; strong winds would otherwise rock the plants and damage - or even lift - the roots. So that’s what Paul and I did today; rescuing just a few buds here and there, which will probably not survive for more than a couple of days in the warmth of the house. The last rose of summer - doesn’t that sound sad?
Gardener still doesn’t know that there is a Paul in my life and garden. He was due here last Thursday; there was no call to explain his absence. He rarely comes during December, except to bring a small present and drink tea with us just before Christmas. The last time he came I made him linger over the tea break, asking endless questions about his childhood. He loves talking.