I’m a night owl at heart, always have been, since infancy. I like snugly morning hours under the duvet, I like adrenalin rushes in the wee small hours. It’s always presented a bit of a conflict. Getting to school on time was a problem especially as my mother insisted on a good breakfast! (a good breakfast back then could take an hour to wade through!) Work was a little easier, I could skip the eating bit, have a hair cut that needed no plaiting, pinning or otherwise messing about with and forget the makeup- who needed it- so could sneak in at least an extra hour of snuggle. Life would be perfect when retired, wouldn’t it? Well yes, I can indulge my love of late hours and later mornings, but there is a big problem at this time of year. My garden.
Don’t get me wrong the garden is innocent, sitting quietly there on the other side of the glass - just doing. It performs miracles for me every year. It shakes off my neglect with a joyful toss of its head, independent like me, it needs no help it declares. I don’t really do much out there. Having adopted a lazy respect for growing things I just titivate a trifle, so that I can actually get around without being smothered. However, I do want to do things out there; grow vegetables for the table, soft fruit for me and preserving, plants for dying fibre and fabric, I want to hear the birds, watch the butterflies, oh so many things. This necessitates a certain amount of interaction out there in my wilderness. This is now my problem and is the same every year, I have to drastically change my habits, I have to train myself to go to bed so early its indecent and rise with the birds (what hour is that gor goodness sake!!)
Early mornings are without doubt the best time to ‘do’ in the garden. It is also the most magical time for everything I love about gardens. The air is soft, cool, gentle and perfumed, one of my lilacs, two of my honeysuckles and one of my young wisterias are in bloom this week and the perfume is beautiful enough drown in. The plants are rested and refreshed from the night and the dew, greens are intense, colours fresh. The dawn chorus, well a million words have been written about it, better than I can. The rest of the world slumbers on and, between the ‘noise’ of the garden, there is the wonderful peace of solitude. I love my garden the very best then.
Me? I’m still in my nightwear, bare footed and enjoying life to the full. Today the last of my potatoes were in, seedlings potted on, lavenders tided, roses fed, raspberries netted and the blueberries watered all before seven. Then sitting under the before said honeysuckle and nursing my comfort food of the mornings (mug of sweetened milky coffee) I have sat and planned my day; dyeing some more yarn, writing, sewing, on and on the list goes while I sit and smile at the antics of my shared space. The dozy cats weave around my legs, delighting in some company out here in the sun. One will take a sedate taxi ride back to the house on my shoulder, the other will play ‘last one back is a mouse’ and race for the window, inventing impossible obstacles on the way.
I love my garden but when the autumn arrives I’ll greet my duvet with a smile and start burning the midnight oil again with great pleasure.