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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

April vibes

After a very, very long winter spring finally begins to emerge. All throughout April the weather has played tricks on us, and each time the sun surprises us with its presence it swiftly goes back into hiding when a new set of snow clouds fill the sky, and large white, wet snowflakes once again cover the ground. The multitude of birds announcing their comeback to our cold climate latitude have no choice in the matter, with loudmouthed cranes and swans descending in the bay and the distinct sound of the male Eurasian bitterns (Botaurus stellaris) booming out mating calls from amongst the reeds regardless of weather. As April turns into May, it seems as if the lot of us draw a happy sigh of relief when the temperature finally stabilises on the plus side of the Celcius scale.

I spend the latter part of the month clearing the boarders of leaves and debris in between snowstorms and hail showers. I cut the dried stalks of perennials away with secateurs and rake the brittle leaves with a small hand held rake as I need to be mindful of the spring bulbs that have already begun to raise their heads through the decaying matter. Seeing them fills me with the warmth of meeting old friends. "How I have missed you guys!" I shout, and Lulu the gardening dog happily bounds over to give said bubs a heap of slobbery welcome kisses. "OFF YOU OAF!" I scold her as she tramples the bulbs to death in her enthusiasm, and then we have a long discussion about the gardening tools being mine and not her toys.

I'm happy to find that most of my beds are gratifyingly filled with bulbs, but here and there are inevitable gaps. I tend to fill these gaps by planting bulbs in the green, and although it feels a bit like cheating it is a great method of filling up empty spaces that really need a bit of cheering up. Last year I taught my friend Tania one of my favourite tricks, which is to scout gardencenters and hardwarestores in the weeks after easter when they sell off withering bulbs for pracitcally nothing and sometimes even give them away for free. Mostly there is nothing wrong with these bulbs. They are simply naturally dying down and going dormant, and will happily sprout next spring if planted before they are completely dry. This spring Tania called me absolutely thrilled at the masses of narcissus we hoarded last year for practically no money, as now they were happily flowering en masse.

Meanwhile Luna the cat has started scouting the shoreline for fish playing in the shallows. I often feel that if my friends express happiness at spring having arrived, no one is as happy as Luna! You would never know though, as she is blessed with the most expressive resting bitch face making her look constantly cross. I think we are soul mates. My offspring often ask me if I'm angry or if something is wrong, when most of the time I'm simply blissfully dreaming about my projects or thinking about absolutely nothing. Truth be told, as much as we look alike, I think Luna has more intelectual thoughts about the universe than I do.

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