Monday, 31 May 2010
May: hymn of light, colour and leaf
May, in England, is extravagantly beautiful.
The garden is at its most demanding, but also its most rewarding. A lesson in this?
Weeding, watering, feeding, and tweaking could take up every hour of the day, but on a sunny day those jobs are a pleasure.
May makes a person want to wax lyrical.
Adam Nicolson, the heir to Sissinghurst -- one of the most famous gardens in the world -- wrote this:
This is a damp, lush country. The late winters are grey and depressing. The spring is often a disappointment. But then in May, the condition of our life in these islands becomes heavenly. "When I die," Monty Don wrote in The Ivington Diaries, published last year, "I shall go to May. It will be green, actually the colour green in all its thousand shining faces. Every moment will be like the arc of a diver breaking the waters of a green lake, a shifting, growing hymn of light, colour and leaf."
And yes, the world is so green . . . but full of other colours, too.
Lilac, wisteria, peony, allium, bluebell: these are the May palette.
And horses kiss in a green, green field full of buttercups and white-blossomed May trees.