I think people are fed up with winter. This one has seemed both interminable and hard going at times.

Rothschild Orchid (see her talesfromtumbledownfarm.blogspot.com for amazing photos of Crocus) said in yesterday’s comments ‘Can we not at least pretend Spring is here?’

Well, no. I think it is not really Spring until the vernal equinox-March 20th to be precise. But the longing for Spring, which we all feel, reminded me of my schoolboy reading of Tennyson’s Mariana, as she waits in her moated grange for her lover to return:

She only said ‘My life is dreary. He cometh not,’ she said;

She said I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!’ 

He plainly isn’t going to come back – we know that. At least we haven’t yet so far screwed up the planet that Spring doesn’t happen.

But as we stand on the cusp, there is looking forward, but  there can also be a little looking back, Janus like, at what has served us over the winter. And one of the plant items which I notice more in winter is moss.

In fact the same poem opens with the lines, which Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle memorably has to say in My Fair Lady, whilst simultaneously coping with a mouthful of marbles:

With blackest moss the flower-pots

Were thickly crusted, one and all.’

None of these recent shots of mosses are black enough to suit Tennyson’s mood. Boy, could those victorians do despair!

In fact lit by sun or flash they are engaging and uplifting.

They can be so suggestive of map like  landscapes that it is easy to see how mosses  can figure so prominently in say Japanese gardens.

Or even providing star-fish like detail on our own terraces.