This time of the year, the garden takes on a slightly frantic air  (OK, maybe I’m projecting there, you’re right, it’s me that’s frantic). There’s just so much to be done and not enough time to do it, plus the midges are biting already, my back is giving out and dammit, I’m tired!

But, but, just look at what is happening –  there is no other time quite like it, it’s almost magical. I swear there are some plants that you can look at, go and make a coffee, come back and the leaves have opened – the change is so quick. That’s why at this time of year we have to stop, look up from our frenetic weeding/mulching/pruning/planting/feeding and just live in the moment, even for five minutes once a day.  Look around you and you’ll see buds popping, flowers unfurling, the sense of plants stretching and waking up is almost overwhelming.  And then listen – the birdsong is building in volume daily – dawn and dusk the best performance times to catch. Every evening there are two male blackbirds at the back of the plot that have a sing-off and it’s just beautiful. The bees are busy too, the constant hum of activity as you work alongside them, occasionally having to duck as you wander into the flight path of a fat, fuzzy bumble bee.

Let’s not forget scent – my current favourite is the least exciting looking plant in the garden, a massive old pittosporum- not even a fancy variegated one, just a plain green tenufolium, but it has the tiniest deep maroon-red flowers that smell of honey, especially at night when you can smell it from 30 feet away. I love walking past and catching the scent, and as you can imagine, it’s popular with the bees too.

This year I’m determined to enjoy the garden more, and as I battle the weeds, and plot and plan the horticultural glory ahead, I’m also placing little seating areas in special spots around the garden – one under the kitchen window (East Facing) for my morning coffee, one under the crab apple covered in blossom, one in a sunny corner, and one in the veg patch – lots of little sanctuaries. Oh,did I mention the hammock?

 

So, put down that trowel, grab yourself a coffee and listen and watch and breathe. Enjoy!

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Please note that The Secret Garden is no longer operating as a garden centre, we are now offering floristry services, wedding flowers, flowers for funerals and other occassions. We also host courses and other events in gardening and floral displays and Sarah is available to do talks for organisations and at events all over Munster.