The corollary of such gradual seasons is that the garden becomes too familiar. Morning after morning I draw the curtains on the same static state; flowers the same as yesterday and the day before, leaves ditto, or perhaps one or two more going yellow. I am not enamoured of rapid and violent change: I would hate New England’s two-day springs. But being lulled like this is not good for your focus. It de-energizes your vision. ‘What’s the urgency?’ you ask yourself when nature is idling in neutral.
Now the ground is too wet for working. I can tiptoe to the back of the border to prune plants on the wall, but they are certainly not asking for it, except where the wind has loosened a long spray of a well-armed rose to lash out at its neighbours. The time is ripe, on the other hand, for a good hard look at present imperfections and possible alterations. Christopher Lloyd and Fergus Garrett used to spend an hour a day, Fergus says, discussing the garden yard by yard, bandying alternatives and deciding on changes. Leaving well alone is of course one of the alternatives – but not just because you have lost focus.