Dear diary …

Did somebody suggest climate change and global warming is impacting on gardeners and gardening?

It appears that our traditional ‘April Showers’ are now falling in May. Rain that also feels like it never ends. Our weather forecasters tell us it is dry, or it is cloudy. They even tell us the sun is shining, and yet, I look out of the window and it continues to rain.

All this water has revitalised the garden. Flowers blooming, lawns growing at an incredible pace, the evergreens looking particularly green and lush. “No mow May” has been forced upon us, as the mower would not cut through the wet grass anyway. Wild flowers are springing up all over, the lawn itself looking particularly lush, except for where we are walking and the well trodden path is clearly visible. No mow May may actually run into June as well if this weather keeps up.

Early spring flowering perennials are in need of cutting back now. They will benefit from the trim and even flower again in a few weeks with renewed energy from the trim. With the soil as moist as it is, division of these same perennials is so much easier than if the ground was dry and baked solid. A job missed last year, but this diary note should remind me to complete the job this year. It is a job that particularly this year is important as not only do the various plants need revitalising by the process, but also we are considering relocating and as much of our planting is attached to memories and gifts, although I can buy new, I feel that to take with us a cutting of the original plant will, in essence allow those memories and kindness of gifts to remain with us.

The divisions will go part into prepared pots and part into new positions in this garden. Some plants such as the Angelica has not survived and a number of roses, Britannia, Wendy Cussons, Margaret Merril, Peace, Just Joey, all died for some reason after flowering so well the year before and so we have spaces to fill.

It is true that this year, has been a year when my time in the garden has been significantly impacted by the health of our son. It seems the days we spent out there together, he, as ‘gaffer‘ pointing out this and that which, with his autistic view, was needing attention to create balance of shape or colour or even scent Me as his ‘gofer’ needed to attend to it.

To garden at all has been a test of resilience and though I love my time immersed in gardening activities, our sons’ health and needs are paramount. The consequence is that much has escaped me and I am tasked with doing all I can to contain it so the purpose of it continuing to be sensory supportive for him remains.

100 different flowers is my aim to grow in this garden. By the end of the year I am sure I will have nearer 150. On top of these will be the evergreens. Many of which are foliage only. Box Hedging, English Yew hedging, Ferns, all planted to provide that core green colour which is a base for calm which our son can look upon year round and the primeval emotion and behaviour that lies in us all brings comfort today, as it did in the beginning. It is often considered to be a hangover from when man could recognise fertile ground and water by the amount of greenery growing. A safe area. It is also believed that it’s safety allowed those early people to hide from predators within the grasses and trees. Many examples of the colour easing and calming emotions has been shown through science time and time again. Blue is another calming colour for similar primeval reasons signifying the life giving water we are all so dependant on and the clear cloudless sky signifying a safe day to go outdoors. There are those with autism who are far more attuned to the benefit of these colours than many of us.

Our garden has the green, we include as many blue flowers as we can. Flowers such as the Geranium Rozanne, the Iris, Siberian Flag, Ceanothus or Californian Lilac all offer that reassuring colour that encourages our son to venture into the garden and bask in the healthy outdoors.

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