Kevin Myers: I turn rosebeds into wasteland with my dubious gardening skills
Let the date be remembered: April 8, 2011. For within a single hour at around noon on that blessed day, the first swallows and the first martins of the summer arrived in the skies of Kildare. So winter ends, and the season of growth and of plenty finally begins.
That was surely the longest winter since the Famine; it began in October, murdering an infant autumn as it emerged from its cot, and then stayed, as dogged as Stalingrad, for the next five months. The first sign that it was really coming to an end was the appearance of the primrose, which emerged, as always, with the equinox.
The truth is that we haven't really got four seasons, but two: winter and beiger, with atypical interludes in each -- such as the glorious weather last weekend. Now we are in for the strange mulligatawny of an Irish beiger, as grey days follow wet days. Yet despite the absence of palpable warmth or unambiguous sunlight in the Irish beiger-season, things grow in our gardens.