I hardly exaggerate. Everything, well, almost everything, in my garden is dying.
As you know, I have epilepsy. This means I sometimes have energy to spare and sometimes barely a starter pack. Since before Christmas, the pattern of my fits has been changing. Instead of a fit a fortnight knocking me out for days, I'm having lots of little fits. Each takes much less time to get over but there are so many of them, life is disrupted. I have a hospital appointment in June. I'm glad I have an appointment in June. It's better than not having an appointment ever. Maybe my medication can be adjusted. Maybe not. Perhaps it will be me that has to adjust. In the meantime, the house silts up. If I shake my head, I fall over. If someone walks close by, I fall over. If I'm sitting up in bed and someone taps their hand on the footboard for emphasis, my head lolls. It's difficult to give the right impression. I don't want to make you think life is dire - but it is disrupted. And I'm getting bored with non-stop reading. (That shows how bad it is!)
If the carpets are un-hoovered, the hand-basins un-washed, our dirty clothes in piles on the landing while they wait to be put in the machine - you can bet anything that the garden is neglected too. I've walked through it to our car from time to time. That's it.
Just now, I went out to look. And, as I said, everything is dying. One of the box bushes by the kitchen door has a huge yellow patch. A dead branch. I touched the soil. Bone dry and dusty. How can this be? Everywhere has been flooding! Of the box bushes in the ground, some of them have leaves going orange. Loads of plants have been nibbled away - including the smaller daffodils. Not a single dwarf iris has flowered. (Tall daffodils are fine - as is the apple tree.) A frond of our Chinese palm is dead. A low growing succulent whose name I can't be bothered to check up on is covered with black spots. On close inspection, they are holes. Something's been eating its way in. Every leaf is affected. Aquilegias are happy. (Hurray) The honeysuckles too. So maybe not quite everything is dying. But the tops of crocosmia leaves are darkening and going floppy and then brown and then something is eating chunks out of them. How can crocosmia die when usually it strains to escape its allocated portion?
I've been watching the bay tree from my bed. It's been suffering a little from wind scorch. Never mind. But there are creatures eating into its leaves too, hollowing them out. It's a big tree. It will survive. But it's sad. And now - a blackberry seedling which moved in with the bleeding hearts (dicentra) has white patches and eaten-away bits. Something has stripped every leaf from the petty spurge. Even weeds are demising! As for our mini-lawn - that was eaten in the autumn. It's now a smooth brown patch of wet brown soil sprinkled with the red dots of cotoneaster berries. Which is another thing. Blackbirds usually strip the tree. They must have been feasting on un-dead, un-sleeping, un-welcome creepies instead.
For all that the box has run out of water, I think it's water wot's done it. A clue may be in the way the aspidistra is spreading. It's never done that before. Aspidistras like it dry. My thoughts - the substance has been washed out of the soil by the rain, rain, constant rain. Now it just runs away. Little slugs, little insects, little but lethal diseases unchecked by frosts because there haven't been any - are on a rampage; pottering around on the damp surface. If it were the season for tomatoes to fruit, there would be blight. (Don't you think?)
Top this with the lavender and sage bushes coming to the end of their natural lives . . . yes, it does seem that the garden (bar daffodils) is dying.