You might remember, dear reader, a post a week or two ago about my first ever middle-aged forays into gardening. Steady yourself for the unhappy update.
Out they began to trumpet their yellow delight a few days ago, J-Bulb* excitedly pointing out the window at their brave emergence. It was a beautiful time to be alive; Spring was flooding my senses. I was experiencing gardener satisfaction, but my naive jollity was short-lived.
Having to regularly pull dandelions and dozens of another, unknown, stinky, spidery plant out of the ground, I assumed that the daffodils would also continue to thrive. But I had reckoned without slugs.
The first glorious yellow star became ravaged, two slimy gastropods squatting slimy in the trumpet, eating up my limited stocks of joie de vivre. Others were chewed through before they’d even managed to open up their sunny bugles or were stuck blindly with flower-stems missing altogether. I was beginning to understand the angry logic of slug pellets and plastic pots of beer buried in the soil: the bitter middle-aged horticultural warfare that has been raging in little green patches round the backs of houses for centuries.
And I haven’t even managed to take J-Boy for a tour of the garden yet. He’s away at his grandparents for a couple of days and by the time we get back they could be completely chewed up. I’m so disappointed; I feel bullied by the natural order and a bit ashamed of my blithe assumptions that I’d be gazing proudly at a nodding host out the back window for a couple of weeks at least.
There are still a couple of whole flowers left, so when we return from Dr L’s ancestral seat in Cheshire tomorrow there might, hopefully, be some intact for inspection. The joy of gardening I was hoping to instill – or at least a passing interest – is in danger of becoming a gloomy lesson in the grim realities of garden life. The local cat population has driven away the bird life; they also did for my attempts at growing potted herbs out the back. We are under siege. Thank God I hadn’t decided to plant lettuce! Meanwhile, the stink weed is steadily spreading again. My only hope is that the daffs come back fighting next spring.