Swept up and cast aside by the sparkle of Christmas and washed away by months of rain I slither and slide down the slippery path of the New Year into my waterlogged garden. Seeing all my sad and sodden potted Primulas and Cowslips, I gather them up lovingly and head for the greenhouse. Surely these poor, neglected plants must be wondering why I have allowed so much water to soak them day after day? Inside the pots their roots are tightly bound, their soil cold and wet and their leaves all gone. I settle myself in the greenhouse to re-pot each suffering fragment of sorry plant into dry soil. I swear that I can almost feel their sense of relief and comfort, knowing that rescue is here at last.
Over- wintering plants or autumn sown hardy annuals suit a belt and braces kind of gal like me. I have plants in pots under glass, outside in cold frames, in the open ground, under cloches and under fleece. Every day I check that they are not too dry, too wet, or too cold. I cover them, uncover them, circulate the air around them, prevent slug attacks and try to prevent mildew and them rotting off. Ordinarily, plants like the Cowslips should have been fine outside in pots, but nothing about the excessive amounts of rain we have had this Winter have been ordinary.
So long as I can nurture and protect my plants and my hands can connect with the healing power of the soil, then I am content. But what is a garden-loving gal to do when it just rains and rains? I just can’t wait for the rain to stop and for the sunshine to return to the garden, so that I, just like my flowers, can open up my petals towards the sun. But until then, I have an idea. Yes, I will sew my garden!
This work in progress is appliquéd and every little flower or detail is cut out of vintage fabric and Liberty prints. It is not until each piece is properly stitched on that a more three dimensional look is achieved. It is painstakingly slow work, but work that I love. Lastly, when the picture is complete I will add embroidered stems for each flower and finally turn the fabric picture into a quilt. It will include all the cats I have loved and lost: Sergei, Nina, Grey Cat, Ossie and Otto. Like me, they will be so happy amongst the flowers….. would you like to take a look?