May is traditionally the month where I begin to feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness about my garden. On a rare sunny day in March, Littlest and I usually plant things, channelling our inner Mr Bloom; and we water them and care for them and wait with bated breath for their arrival.
By May it is clear that none of them are going to grow. The spring onions - last year's sole success - have refused to play out at all this year, and the salad leaves I sprinkled boldly into a strawberry pot on the advice of a vegetable gardener are nowhere to be seen. Some pea plants have grown a centimetre tall, but they will not be joined in their stab at life by the neighbouring tomatoes. Or even the sunflowers. And this year, we have absolutely not even attempted any carrots.
Our garden is entered via a ramp and concreted area with walls which
are turning green with moss. And not in a pretty, rambling countryside
kind of way. They're doing it in a 'let this carry on, and all the rendering will fall right off' kind of way.
We're growing weeds. And bamboo - invasive, huge, waving, threatening bamboo, rampaging wildly in a head-height border at the side of the ramp. It looms over us as we enter, rustling its leaves ominously.
In Blogland, the world is filled with colourful flowers, but my garden resists them. All except two tulip bulbs, which have sprouted up merrily from the same pot that houses my inexplicably dying blueberry bush. I can't tell you why they did this. I didn't put them there. These tulips are even more interesting because the gazillions of tulips that I did plant a couple of years ago in a border nearby have never even bothered coming up.
My patio pot cherry tree leans queasily to one side.
The lawn can be described in one syllable - peh.
It would be easy to become completely dejected. But yesterday I took advantage of a brief sunny spell to de-moss and paint several metres of wall. Just a small start. It's all about eating the elephant, I've decided. You do it in little chunks.
Because let's face it, it looks like elephant is the only thing we'll be eating from our garden this year. Elephant, and possibly a few peas.
What about you? Are you eating any elephants this year?