Coun­try Mouse

Ev­ery­thing un­der the sun

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AT such a drab and dreary time of year, when life is be­ing dom­i­nated by dispir­it­ing pol­i­tics, both at home and abroad, the re­cent snap of sharp, crys­tallis­ing frosts that her­ald bright, clear days has bathed the coun­try­side in an up­lift­ing glow.

On Sun­day, once the hard, sug­ary coat­ing en­cas­ing the sprawl­ing gar­den of our new home on the Dorset/som­er­set border had thawed, I couldn’t re­sist the urge to get out into the sun­shine and start em­bel­lish­ing the flower beds. Al­though snow­drops are out and daf­fodil tips bravely forg­ing sky­ward, we need to in­tro­duce form and struc­ture with the aid of ev­er­green shrubs.

We ven­tured to the lo­cal gar­den cen­tre—in the grounds of Sher­borne Cas­tle—where, among neat rows of spring bulbs, shyly clus­ter­ing vi­o­las and cheer­ful rain­bows of prim­u­las, we found laven­der, rose­mary and bay, along with a cou­ple of na­tive prim­roses with del­i­cate, but­tery-yel­low blooms.

Back at home, as the light be­gan to fade, I worked quickly to get all the plants in the ground be­fore Jack Frost re­turned. It was prac­ti­cally dark when I stood back to ad­mire my hand­i­work and re­flect on how Na­ture’s abil­ity to sur­vive and thrive, year af­ter year, no mat­ter what we—or the weather— throw at it, is such an enor­mous com­fort. PL

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