The first thing people say to me is how beautifully warm and sunny the month of April was. Of course, I missed it. I hope that isn’t all we will get this year, but it doesn’t look promising right now; I came back a week ago to chilly, rainy weather and gray skies. Nevertheless, massive walls of green are everywhere. Green tunnels of dripping leaves shelter narrow roads.
Vistas of sage green, bright green, yellow green, blue green, dark green, gray green soothe the eye as you roll down the A25, interspersed with just enough dark red and yellow. Leaves are oval or round, 3 or 5 fingered, long and drooping. They are called Mountain Ash, Elm, Horse Chestnut, Beech, Copper Beech, Willow. Conifers of several varieties: yew, of course, cypress, pines. The creativity is infinite. They grow into massive sprawling limbs, graceful slender boughs, rounded bushy shapes, tall, pointed trunks, or as needles on straight spiky towers.
There isn’t much blossom at the moment, though. The sunny daffodils are finished, as are the masses of blue bells. Most of the fruit trees seem to have flowered and moved on to small leaves and tiny hard balls of whatever it is they will become. Yet the joy of walking Tasha again, after so many weeks of enforced inactivity, is boundless. Even in the rain. Or maybe especially, in this verdant moment between flowering and producing, and the rain seems a gentle preparation for the riot of flowers, fruits, vegetables that will come after this pause.
The rosebuds are straining to burst open, just needing a flash of sunshine to release the tender color inside. Down at the allotments, the gardeners have clearly been busy. One of them has stuck red and yellow fisherman’s floats on top of his stakes, so his garden looks something like a field of giant tulips. He has a bulbous scarecrow, man-sized, in his garden, composed of a shirt and trousers stuffed with straw, I guess. The over-all effect is eccentric and charming.
Not all scarecrows are created equal, though. While bulbous man is grotesque and repulsive, assuming birds notice such things, the scarecrow in the patch next to him is disheveled and rakish. Apparently the English Robin on his right arm is not discouraged, at any rate.
But the vegetables in those gardens are definitely not kidding around. Every day I see they have grown larger, and am going to start asking questions about who gets to eat them. There will surely be far more than the cultivators of each plot can use themselves. However, my hopes are not high. We are newcomers, and as such, pretty far down the food chain, so to speak. But, as my daughter-in-law likes to say, "Don’t ask, don’t get".
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