green. and white. and pink. and blue


If you are wondering why I’ve not mentioned our allotment, this is because I was hoping that ‘the situation’ that has unfolded around the allotment would have resolved itself by now. This is ‘the situation’: basically the allotment man at the council managed to double book our plot, and it was assigned to someone else. We were then offered another allotment, at a site several miles away, but have decided to hold out for the plots nearest to us. As I may have mentioned, ‘our’ allotments are a short walk from our back door. Allotment man, having admitted his error, is apparently doing all he can, but the wheels of allotment administration move extremely slowly. Still no allotment, then, I am very sad to say. And, having stomped our feet both at allotment man and the council, there’s not much we can do but wait. But its very frustrating. The season is advancing, I am listening to gardeners question time, reading my veg growing books, and watching others getting on with the happy business of digging and planting with no small degree of wistfulness.


Meanwhile, Spring comes on in all its crazy abundance. I was put in mind the other day of a singular moment a few years ago when, having spent a couple of months working out of the country, I returned to Scotland in early May. Everything was just so damn green — the whole world was singing with green, with that colour’s energy and potential. I remember thinking the obvious stuff– were things always this green? What have I been missing?


So while I have no part in the making of green things, I am enjoying the general green immensely. Over the past few weeks, the paths on which I walk have been completely transformed. Blank brown spaces have suddenly become ridiculously verdant. Weeds are pushing up through paving stones, and every hard edge I used to see has been softened by the lines of stems and foliage. And flowers. There are flowers everywhere, and I am enjoying them all: the blossom past its best on the straight lines of municipally planted cherry trees; resilient, fragrant gorse and hawthorn; bluebells lighting up the undergrowth with their almost neon glow. So while I don’t yet have my allotment, right now, the whole city seems like my garden. A poem of colour: of green, and white, and pink . . .


. . . and blue.