The garden is changing daily with the onset of spring. Plants that looked about ready to die over the winter have suddenly started to grow vigorously and look very promising again. All of the hedges that struggled through last summer's drought looking very pitiful have flowered and put forth new leaves. They look as though they may start to function as screens, as intended.
Likewise the fig orchard is looking lively with longer stems, floppy leaves, and behold! two actual figs already.
The sparrows that live in our neighbours' roofs have produced offspring which are learning to fly, principally by hopping about in our hedges. Their parents squeak encouragement from our trees. Since we've started to open our windows again, it's noisy with them shrieking away.
The wild pink poppy that I found last spring growing on a paddy bank which I seeded in our garden grew slowly over the winter and has suddenly shot up. It's a weird pale green colour that really stands out against the other greens. It's getting ready to flower.
In my wanderings around the neighbourhood, I found myself in the rambling 'yard' of a garden and landscaping operation. Amongst the rocks and other furnishings scattered about, I spotted a nice piece of granite with a depression cut in the top, either for a birdbath or a small pond. As soon as I saw it, I wanted it. So we entered into negotiations with the landscaper and got it for a good price. As it's a bit too deep for a birdbath, I think I'll put some medaka fish and water weed in it.
This weekend marks the start of 'Golden Week'. For some reason, a couple of years ago the national broadcaster NHK began calling it an 'ogata renkyu' or a 'large scale succession of days off'. Seeing as it's a measly handful of days generally interspersed with working days, it's neither 'large scale' nor a 'succession of days off'. In fact the new appellation has a distinctly propagandistic feel about it. While the French exist as a people to show what 'ogata renkyu' really is, the expression should rightly elicit only bitter guffaws. At least it does in my house. Anyway, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'm jolly well looking forward to the opportunity of pulling up heaps of weeds before they get the better of me again.