This photograph shows you the view if I stand in my hall, just inside the front door. There is a grass verge, then the footpath and then a piece of waste ground. All the flowers you see are, of course, dandelions. There must be a thousand at least and at the moment I love looking at them. Then I remind myself that each flower will eventually have a seed head and each seed head will contain maybe a couple of hundred seeds. And where is the nearest lawn? Yes, you have guessed correctly. Mine. And while dandelions look delightful they are classed as a weed and weeds and lawns do not go together comfortably.
I think of plants like Valerian, Rosebay Willowherb and to some extent the blue herbaceous geranium and how they originally began life in this country as rather 'precious' garden plants and are now considered 'weeds' - I certainly think it is fair to say that on the whole a gardener would not 'buy' a plant of these; he might allow it to stay if it decided to pay him a visit, the same is not true of the dandelion. Once a weed, always a weed. A pity really as close inspection reveals it to be a rather pretty flower. But that of course is transferring the opposite way -- not garden flower to weed but weed to weed. So out will have to come the weed killer as the chap who mows the grass verge only comes once a month.
I think every gardener in the country is hoping for rain this week. We have had some lovely sunny days but after the wettest Autumn and Winter on record we have gone into the driest Spring. How capricious the English weather is. Now the ground is like sand here and the flower beds in my garden are full of dry cracks. I tried sitting out in the sun after lunch (friend and neighbour H kindly lent me a garden chair as I just haven't got round to buying any until I have decided what to do with the last part of my garden (the part I intend to sit in)) but it is cooler today and as the afternoon has worn on the sky has got cloudier. When I first went out the sky was deep blue and there were numerous beautiful puffy white clouds. Now the sky is a rather angry dark grey. Will it rain? I do hope so.
Anyone who loves looking at the sky will be interested to know that today Chris Lintoft in The Times tells us that Venus 'high in the Western sky just after sunset' will be at its brightest tomorrow. Knowing just how capricious the English weather can be - that is probably when we wont be able to see it because it will be raining.