Thursday, 16 February 2012


Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

Edward Thomas, 'Thaw'

I couldn't resist these few lines from my favourite poet. I have been out in the garden this week, trying to get to grips with the winter-grown weeds before everything grows frantically and gets away from me. I have been grubbing amongst the herbs in the herb garden, and enjoying the scent of Sage, and Mint, and Lemon Balm and Rosemary as I brushed against them. The Elecampane is still keeping a low profile, the Bronze Fennel nowhere to be seen yet, and the Thyme is looking rather sorry for itself (so is the one-leafed! Sage, come to that). The Sage looked even more battered after Gypsy had mistake it for Cat-Nip and rolled all over it!

Today I have been clearing the greenhouse pathway of weeds, and ripping back the grass which has draped itself over the edging stones. It is so satisfying to put things to rights, though I have a long way to go before even this little patch in the paddock is sorted out. After the stretching and kneeling and to give my back a rest, I have been standing and fielding slices of long-dead ash tree as my husband removes them with the chainsaw from the big double-trunked tree which fell about 5 years ago and now makes excellent burning.

For relaxation - reading Mathew Hollis' biography of Edward Thomas ("Now All Roads Lead to France") and I have just blown the dust off "The Muse Colony" (Dymock 1914). An Edward Thomas season then.


  1. Edward Thomas is one of my favourites too - he is so in touch with the countryside.

  2. I love the lines by Edward Thomas. Like you I've been working in the garden and two days of kneeling has resulted in my knees shouting very decisively 'Enough!' So today I'm having a computer day - it's been drizzling anyway and I got a lot done over the last couple of days so I'm happy.

  3. With me Rowan, it's my right knee - the one I landed on with all my weight doing abut 40mph when I fell off Windy two days before my 21st birthday. I said then it would come back and haunt me when I got old . . .

    Weaver - he had SUCH an eye for what was around him, and wrote notes of what he saw, but he had really incredible eyesight which I think helped his writing.

  4. Goodness! Wonderful of you to be able to get into your gardens. While our winter has been very mild, we just got snow tonight and everything is white again. My gardens will have to wait until April to look over winter's damage.

  5. "Thaw" is so good. The feel of a winter month in just a few lines. As you say, he had such powers of observation . It`s a damp , grey February day here.ET would have felt at home in these brown woods and wet fields.