“April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.”
The garden is as alive as the old nursery rhyme promises, with delicate spring flowers of all colours filling the beds. Tiny purple violets peak out from dark green leaves under the trees, bold and bright primulas of all colours smile widely in the sunshine and hyacinths in vivid pink and blue fill the air with their perfume. Vibrant green leaves are unfurling on the trees and summer bulbs are forcing their new leaves into the sunlight.
The seeds I sowed earlier in the year are now well underway to becoming plants. I thin the over enthusiastic rows, I job I actually hate to do as it feels so wasteful, but of course it is absolutely necessary to ensure strong healthy produce! A few spring greens are the first of my own produce to make it to the kitchen this year; young lettuce leaves, wild garlic and sorrel.
More seeds are sown and the beds are now full for the year. Indoors I have pepper, courgette, tomato and cucumber plants growing in pots, too cool still to plant them outside. They reach towards the sun streaming through the window, craving the light as we all do after the dark winter!
My herb bed is looking wonderfully healthy again. Many of my herbs survive through the winter and at this time of year have lots of fresh new growth coming through. The new herbs I planted last month are now established and growing well. I’m trying some new ones this year; I couldn’t resist “chocolate mint” which I saw at the flower market and look forward to trying it out in my cooking. I’ve also planted coriander from seed for the first time. I always have a good stock of sage, marjoram, oregano, parsley, savory, mint, lemon balm, thyme, chives, tarragon and rosemary, and basil on my windowsill, although that really does need the warmer weather. Not to forget my beautiful bay tree which sits pride of place in the middle of one of my central beds producing an endless supply of glossy green leaves for casseroles, curries and a million other dishes.
If you are new to growing your own produce, now is a great time to pop some pots on a windowsill or outside, filled with herbs, or, if you want to start from scratch, a mixture of lettuce seeds which you can enjoy through the summer!