Friday, 18 May 2012

Seasonal musings....

I have been reading my posts and noticing how they reflect the cycle of the seasons; I mark the passing of time by the lengthening and then shortening of the days. There is the welcome appearance of the first spring plants, and as they flower and die back the early and late summer plants begin to poke their heads up and thrive. Blossom is succeeded by berries, then the leaves put on their technicolour display and fall as the first frosts return; snow covers the ground as the undergrowth dies back leaving a palette of browns and greys, until whilst out walking one cold day I notice the first green shoots. When we bought the house I spent every spare moment in the previously neglected and overgrown garden; I realised that I had only been out in the local woods a few times. Now that the garden is more under control and we have a dog I am out there every day and feel priveleged to have this opportunity to deepen my connection with the natural world.

The other thing I noticed was how often I talk about weeds. Of course, a weed is just a plant where you don't want it and many 'weeds' are tolerated in my garden because they benefit the wildlife, or have medicinal properties, or I just like them! The 'weeds' I refer to are usually the legions of willow herb seedlings, the brambles that want to re-establish their hold over the entire garden, ash tree seedlings and sow thistle (prickly!). I tolerate small amounts of herb Robert, wood avens and meadow cranesbill but pull the rest out, and have also had to thin the enthusiastic numbers of foxgloves and borage plants. Always decisions! What stays, what goes.... but whatever control I think I have, the garden will always have the last word. On the subject of weeds, I recommend reading Richard Mabey (Weeds, Beechcombing, Flora Britannica) and Richard Deakin (Wildwood, Waterlog).

early summer....

...or at least that is what the calender and the long daylight hours are telling me! The gloom is more like March, as are the temperatures as once again we light our woodburning stove to take the chill off the house. All my seedlings that I was so careful to start off as early as possible have been keeping their heads low and refusing to grow any higher until temperatures improve!
Out in the woods it is a different story as nature awakes and runs rampant; the bluebells were early but have lingered as has the wild garlic. For a while I was coming back with garlicky leaves every day after the afternoon dog walk, for both our dinner and the dog's. There are wood anemomes, lesser celandine and wood sorrel but in these dull days they are rarely fully opening their petals. Last week I spotted cuckoo flowers in a meadow by Porter brook and this week I saw my first hawthorn and elder blossom of the year. The garlic mustard and fool's parsley are lining the paths with a froth of green and white. The beech leaves have reappeared, tiny at first but now shading the wood in green. The brown earth is coated once again in verdant growth.

On a professional note, the Clinic website has now been updated to include my new prices for 60, 45 and 30 minute treatments (including consultation time).