Alan Titchmarsh: Why it’s time for gardeners to Spring into action

The phrase “Spring is a new beginning” may seem trite today, says Alan Titchmarsh, “but it is “a phrase that invades my mind every March.”

It is easy to understand why the term “spring fever” originated. Those serene, clear days of the first half of February, when the sun shone and warmed our backs, reminding us of the inexorable change of seasons. Timelines may vary, but certainty is encouraging. The lengthening days give us cause for optimism. Our shoulders sag after the winter stoop, our spirits rise, and we are overcome by an all-consuming sense of optimism—things are changing for the better. We know it’s foolish to assume the worst of the weather is over: cold snaps often follow cold snaps; Low skies and thick clouds seem to spoil our mood and our tweed clothes, but change is just around the corner.

A holiday at the end of January took me to Barbados, where bougainvilleas and hibiscus, oleanders and gardenias bloom all year round. My bones were warmed by the tropical sun, and the crystal clear air and bright bright lighting refreshed me after the bitter cold weather at home. But, after 10 days, I was ready to return and wait for the arrival of spring.

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of living in a cool temperate climate is the changing seasons. “Spring is a new beginning,” wrote American poet Joan Walsh Anglund, and while the thought may seem a little trite these days, the phrase invades my mind every March. March 1 is considered the beginning of meteorological spring, March 20 is the spring or spring equinox, when day and night have the same duration, but it is on March 21 that most gardeners and summer residents consider the beginning of a new season.

On Valentine’s Day, I remarked to a gardening friend that spring seemed to come a little late this year. “No,” he said. ‘It’s on time.’ This observation was impossible to refute, because the snowdrops were in bloom, the first Tommy crocuses had turned from amethyst shoots into purple stars, and the air was saturated with the scent of sarcococa, witch hazel, and honeysuckle in winter bloom. The dormant buds on the drooping golden shoots of the weeping willow displayed their lemon green coloration. I’d rather they wait until this month before going out, but Nature is taking her course and spring is “on time” no matter what the calendar says.

No matter how much you plant, there is always room for more blooming crocuses and daffodils.

Must Read:  Celandine: The delicate flower, harbinger of spring, which Wordsworth thought more beautiful than daffodils

As for spring-flowering bulbs, the pleasure of their appearance is inevitably associated with the reproachful thought “why didn’t I plant more?”. Mentally mark where I really should plant more crocuses and daffodils as autumn approaches, carefully avoiding those heavy-headed “culinary daffodils” that bend to the ground at the first rain, allowing slugs and snails to breed. climb onto the board and turn them into a shoelace.

Clusters of camassia foliage—bright emerald cockades—dotted the meadow in early February, and snake-headed hazel grouse staffs followed, as if too embarrassed to make a fuss. In the spring, Tennyson suggested, “the young man’s imagination easily turns to thoughts of love,” and the gardener’s thoughts to when the right time will be for planting lettuce and beans, planting onion sets and potatoes. Why can this seasonal cycle, which I have experienced as an Earthling for over 60 years, still keep me in its thrall? Why, when cockroaches in our wild pond begin to emerge from hibernation among the silty depths, do I feel some kind of childish excitement?

Perhaps this is because, in an increasingly turbulent and unpredictable world, these natural phenomena serve as a reminder of the bigger picture: the power of Nature to triumph over our own misfortunes and transgressions.

In the garden, we have the opportunity to reconnect with nature, to help her and marvel at her ability to restore – especially in spring, when the earth wakes up.

Soon the ground will be ready for my sweet pea, the dahlia tubers will be interred again, the towering delphinium shoots will need to be tied up, the water lilies will grow to cover half the wildlife pond, and the spring bloom will bloom. exploded with all the enthusiasm of a lovesick teenager. Oh, I love spring.

Alan Titchmarsh’s new book, The Gardener’s Almanac, is out.

Alan Titchmarsh’s Christmas column looks at all the plants of the holiday season.

Alan Titchmarsh’s greenhouse has gotten a little predictable, but now he has big plans to mess things up.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *