Fast forward Posted on March 30, 2012

I try not to let this diary become too meteo-centric, but there is no avoiding the topic du jour. Magnolias are going over, and horse-chestnuts are in leaf, and we are still in March. The spring of 2011 was pretty alarmingly warm, and excessively dry, but this fast-forward eruption of a season makes it moderate in comparison. We have a blackthorn summer instead of winter. The daffodils in the Royal Parks had the shortest flowering in memory: there will be none for Easter. If this sort of spring becomes a habit there will be less and less reason to grow them: a week in flower and a month looking miserable is not going to keep the popular vote.

We rarely pay our lawns much attention, but last winter there was no ignoring the moss/grass ratio. In some places it was hard to find any grass. We scraped out a small mountain of moss with a scarifier and then went to work with a great yellow machine much like the ones that leave a ribbon of tarmac behind them. Its revolving drum cuts furrows an inch and a half apart and drops grass seed from a hopper straight in. It hasn’t rained for a month, though, and I fear we’ll have to use the sprinkler before it’s banned, any day now, to see any germination.

Hugh’s Gardening Books


Trees was first published in 1973 as The International Book of Trees, two years after The World Atlas of Wine….

Hugh’s Wine Books

The Story of Wine – From Noah to Now

A completely new edition published by the Academie du Vin Library: When first published in 1989 The Story of Wine won every…

Friends of Trad

The Garden Museum