Easter - and the bit of one's brain that isn't focused on chocolate turns to thoughts of gardening.*
Garden centre owners rub their hands with glee as the punters flock in. They make plans for Caribbean cruises, second homes on the Costas, ski lodges in glitzy resorts and the sort of yacht that never leaves harbour but displaces its own volume in gin. At this time of year the business is the 'proverbial license to print money'. The off-season enticements which bear little resemblance to the world of gardening - Santa's Grotto to name but one - are distant memories - replaced by perky 'spring bedding' and most things yellow - the colour de nos jours.
On the home front, there's a vague nagging to be out there moving soil about, digging, and a niggling thought that things could look, well, more springlike. So this afternoon, along with the members of the public that weren't a throng in Welshpool High Street munching pies and eating ice cream I went to our (best ever) local garden centre.
The Derwen Garden Centre, on the Guilsfield road out of Welshpool is a pleasure to visit. The ratio of gimcrackery to plants is wonderfully low. If you want to buy a scented candle or an organic pork pie, they're for sale - but plants are the thing. Here be plants. And here be people who know about plants. (And what a terrific range of plants there is, such variety - and if the Derwen doesn't have what you want there's always their nursery The Dingle a couple of miles up the road.)
My shopping list today was fairly modest - some bog plants, some perennials and a couple of shrubs. The garden we carved out of a concrete yard and a field 2 years ago is taking shape, the sticks and twigs and budding things we put in then have bulked up well. Keep sight of the fact that things are programmed to grow and given soil, light and water, they'll do just that.
Tomorrow's job will be finding homes for my purchases and tucking their roots into some good moist soil - along with the instruction 'Grow damn you, you know you want to!'
I photographed these flowers on the way down to the village yesterday - not a commercial stem amongst them. How lovely they are.
*Apologies to those for whom chocolate and spring bedding are not at the top of the list and for whom Easter is very significant religious festival.