Spring is here, bringing new life and promises of summer. New shoots peak through the soil all around the garden and the trees are covered in luminous green buds. The cheery faces of the daffodils smile along the roadside as I navigate the urban jungle that is London on my way to work, making the city feel so much fresher than in the drab coldness of winter.
The first signs of life are appearing in my vegetable bed too; the early seeds I sowed last month just peeping out, although no indications yet of the bountiful produce they will become (I hope!) I sow more rows of seeds directly into the bed; carrots and beetroot mainly, and my chitted potatoes are planted into potato bags.
Indoors I have a healthy tray of mixed lettuce growing strongly – the warmer weather has me thinking of summer and craving salads so they are a welcome sight! I’ll top up the seed from time to time to make sure I have a constant supply to last me through the summer. I thin out the seedlings in my propagator and transfer the largest ones into their own pots to harden off by leaving them outside during the day. Some will be ready to plant on outside at the end of the month.
I make the first of my regular spring/ summer trips to Columbia Road Flower Market; one of my favourite places in London! The immense colour and hustle and bustle of this small and extremely popular East London market are a joy. I’m so lucky to live within walking distance, although stumbling home under mountains of plants, it always feels like a very long way! I stock up mainly on herbs; plenty of mine survive the winter but I am expanding into an “herb pallet” this year, and I always need to replenish the less hardy varieties as well.