As the frosts lessen and the ground thaws, I prepare my garden for the arrival of spring. Irises and crocuses are in full bloom already this year and the garden is filling with colour. In London we are protected from the coldest weather, so I’m lucky enough to be able to plant outside from fairly early on.
I get stuck into my vegetable beds, digging in a generous layer of homemade compost so they are ready for planting. All of our vegetable, grain and fruit waste, along with coffee granules go straight into a compost bin, as well as grass cuttings in the summer and any garden waste that isn’t too woody and tough. The manual work is satisfying and it’s nice to slow down and tune out from my usually hectic life. A curious robin sits on the wall eyeing up my work. I expect he’s hoping I’ll earth up some worms for him, although his other eye is on next door’s cat who also regards my labour with an amused curiosity.
The seeds I planted indoors in January have grown into strong seedlings and I transfer into larger pots and start to harden them up by leaving them outside for a while during the day when it is mild. The propagator is freed up for the next round of seeds which I duly sow. The potatoes are also sprouting well and I’ll plant them into potato bags fairly soon. I plant the first of the hardier seeds (Brussel Sprouts and parsnips this year) straight into my vegetable bed, marking the rows with dated labels and pieces of string as the seeds can take a bit of time to germinate while it is still cold and I don’t want to sow over the top of them! I’m always filled with wonderful anticipation when I sow seeds and can’t wait to see the little green shoots emerging soon.