Yuk. It's raining, and it's cold, and it's mid-April. April showers bring May flowers. Oh, the joys of an English spring.
It wasn't so bad earlier, and so I have finished sweeping the terrace (or patio) and hauling great clumps of Erigeron karvinskianus from between the paving slabs. I am shaken with inward laughter when I see pots of it on sale in garden centres for five quid a pop. It is a pretty thing, with tiny white flowers over a very long season that fade to pink as they age, so that the plant is a medley of pink and white. Christopher Lloyd allowed it to naturalise in the steps and walls at Great Dixter, indeed naturalised Mexican fleabane is something of an Arts and Craft hallmark. Boy, does it naturalise. It is not very keen on competing with grass, so it has largely stayed out of the daffodil lawn, unless the reason for that is that it would like some lime in its surroundings. At any rate, give it some badly grouted paving and it's away. It is terribly easy from seed, and for five pounds you could buy two packets, which would supply you and all your family and the entire neighbourhood with as much Erigeron as you could conceivably want.
It smothers the narrow bed at the base of the retaining wall holding up the terrace (or patio), an impossibly dry and stony spot that not much else would grow in (I say, thinking of all the 'drought resistant' plants that have shrivelled and died in the long bed over the past twenty years). It grows happily in the steps, where I have edited it to make sure there is still some room for our feet. I just decided I didn't want great mats of it on the terrace (or patio). It was taking up too much space where I want to stand pots of Cosmos and dahlias, and seeding itself incontinently into my pots of alpines.
Then I returned to weeding the sloping bed, sprinkling it with 6X and blood, fish and bone, and tucking Strulch carefully around the rapidly emerging clumps of day lily foliage. And then it began to spit with rain, and by now it's pouring, great dismal dollops of water making lumpen sounds on the study window. It is so cold the Systems Administrator has lit the stove, even though we're going out later.
Oh, to be in England now that April's there. Though you would be lucky to see tiny leaf around an elm-tree bole now, alas. I did see three swallows sitting on a telephone wire on Wednesday, though, my first of the season.