It was cold, windy and growing dark. Was I by a warm fire eating chocolate and toasting my toes ? No, I was bent double at the back of a border wresting with a bramble resembling a giant, spiky python! I paused mid - chop to wonder what actually drives me to carry on working outside in the gloom, and came to the conclusion that it is, succinctly, hope that propels me.
|Tender plants in the heated greenhouse
There is a simple experiment to test someone's attitude to deferred gratification. You offer them a pound immediately, or two pounds in a month. I guess every true gardener will wait patiently for the two pounds, as we don't really do instant gratification. We are in it for the long game. We have to be, as we lovingly plant a sapling, knowing we will have to wait ten years to, literally, see the fruits of our labour.
|Succulents in the cold greenhouse
And there are growing pleasures too, as old friends start to pop up around the garden.
|Coleus 'King Kong'
|Dahlia 'Extreme Double'
In the heated greenhouse the tender plants are waking up and have had their first drink of water since last autumn. Salvias and fuchsias are putting out new leaves and hedychium , which have kept their leaves over winter, are putting out new spikes. In the unheated greenhouse the succulents have had their first drink too - but a very sparing one as they are kept exceptionally dry until they are in active growth.
Poised on the brink of a whole new season, I guess I garden more in hope than expectation ...