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.