for now, anyway.
Things are looking up. I have been putting in a few hours of hard work in the garden, on my own, sadly. Handsome Hunk works well, when he comes, that is. No matter how intensely I beg him to come at least every two or three weeks, all he says is "I'll ring you", and then doesn't. Wiry and Willing hasn't properly worked for weeks either, but he has an excuse. He has sciatica badly. He is seeing doctors and physios but nothing seems to work. He came last week but after an hour I sent him home. He looked bad and sat on an upturned bucket to rest his back and leg. He will come when he can, of that I am sure. HH will come too, I just don't know when.
In the meantime it's down to me. I am still pruning and cutting back, there is little point in doing much else, this weekend there will be mild frost again. I can't say that I am totally happy with the hellebores and hyacinths in the first and third pictures. I find the colours rather garish. But I do love the gorgeous quince flowers. (Japanese quince or Chaenomeles) The whole wall is covered in them. If the frosts don't kill them I will have masses of shiny yellow quince in late summer. I no longer make quince jelly, it's far too much work and I don't eat much in the way of sweet jellies. The fruits are not to be eaten raw, they are potentially harmful, but boiling them takes many hours.
I had great pleasure at the garden society last night. A delightful, very enthusiastic grower and gardener gave a talk on how to create a border with interest and appeal for the whole year. Whenever I watch garden programmes on the TV (some of you may have heard of Monty Don and Gardeners' World?), or visit a show garden, or attend a talk on garden design, I come over all itchy and raring to go. While I am sitting watching, I can do anything. In practice not so much. But until such time that it becomes impossible I will struggle on. Did I mention that I have agreed to open again at the end of June? The saints preserve us! Next week I am planning a visit to a nursery for a splurge on plants. Well, why not, I rarely treat myself to anything nowadays.
I've also attended my first concert of the year. Excellent but very complicated music. I was exhausted from just listening. I hadn't realised it was a private performance, by invitation only. The concert was given in the barn of a friend (good acoustics), there was wine and nibbles beforehand and during the interval, and altogether it was quite an occasion. I was fully aware of the honour of being on the guest list in spite of having initially misread the invitation. I had thought there was something funny about it, no tickets to purchase! Still, I enjoyed the outing and behaved impeccably! The performers were doing it all again the next night, this time on a stage, with a ticket price. Afterwards, I thanked the cellist for inviting me and he let out that they were, in fact, using the barn performance as a kind of dress rehearsal and needed a knowledgeable audience to be present, with the feel of a proper performance. Ah well, gift horses spring to mind. But a pleasure and an honour all the same.