It looks like spring has officially started here in the Netherlands; the last week or so has seen temperatures reaching twenty degrees Celsius, everything in the garden starts to look green and sprouty, our resident family of finches is back and I’ve even seen some bumblebees flying around. Also a lot of mosquitoes when it gets dark unfortunately. Finally, there is the undeniable sign of spring, crows who deliberately take a bath in the guttering just as I come sit outside; no shit, three days in a row five minutes after I’ve installed myself with a book and a drink and there come the first splashes of water. Naughty, naughty corvoids.
Unfortunately the garden has suffered a bit of damage thanks to the false spring and suddenly nasty week of winter we had in late January and early February, which has made quite a few plants that thought they could start doing their spring cleaning suffer for their impudence. Sadly, the plant above was one of them, the Lady Plymouth Eucalyptus we’ve gotten from the botanical garden at the VU hospital during an open day there last April. It wasn’t really for sale, but the kind lady who had grown it gave it to Sandra as a gift; Plymouth being her home town. I had hoped it could’ve survived the winter; it was supposed to be winter hard, but the combo of soft weather followed by a harsh frost seems to have done it in.
I’m not really a gardener myself, but Sandra was and put her heart and soul in our little garden and even after two years of neglect it still looks good, if a bit wilder than it was. In hospital, that botanical garden was her lifeline, a place to espace too when being in hospital got too much, as was the bit of “wild” parkland between the garden and the hospital itself. We actually saw a red squirrel there, as well as a woodpecker and a fair number of other birds and small animals.
All of which leaves me seeing spring approach with mixed feelings; it’s in my top four of favourite seasons, but I can’t get rid of that knot of anxiety and grief in my stomach either, as everything green does remind me of Sandra.
So I end up staying in with the blinds down playing games on my pc.