Digging

A few more garden jobs getting done. Kim takes her tulip bulbs (courtesy of Sarah Raven) and pots them up, covering the surface with gravel. I pull handfuls of weed from the pond and drain on the edges to allow the tiny insects living in them to slide back into the cold waters. I then add the shrivelled greenery to the compost. Some strands of curly hornwort I spare. Make a few posies of them, tied with lead fastening, and drop to the bottom of the new tank pond to start another oxygenating underwater colony. Hopefully this clear out of weed will allow more spread of surface plants, encourage amphibians to return next year whilst still keeping enough cover to keep the still water sweet, control UV and still give shelter to all the various life forms that call the pond home.

There are some lovely poems out there celebrating aspects of the season. I have a soft spot for Edward Thomas of course so here’s one from him – ‘Digging’. The lino cut is by Cathy Duncan. (Apologies for layout: It won’t configure in lines but just runs the text together. I need to interrogate WordPress somehow to let me configure it properly, as ET wrote it!)

Today I think Only with scents, – scents dead leaves yield, And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed, And the square mustard field; Odours that rise When the spade wounds the root of tree, Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed, Rhubarb or celery; The smoke’s smell, too, Flowing from where the bonfire burns The dead, the waste, the dangerous, And all to sweetness turns. It is enough To smell, To crumble the dark earth, While the robin sings over again Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

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