In my last post I discussed how difficult it is to remain restrained when literally aching to get going in the garden. That was not much over a week ago and despite this so much has changed already. The start of the growing season is always a fraught time as starting things off too early may mean that your timings produce less than desirable outcomes with aetiolated seedlings on windowsills and plenty of frost damage on outdoor crops to boot, too late and you lose any advantage you once had over Mother Nature.
In little over a week I no longer have that immediate urge to get going, well, not as much anyway. This is partly due to the fact that I am no longer revising. I will do anything other than revise when it is needed, which includes fantasising about what to grow this year, browsing the internet for iphone covers, and finding amazement in anything relatively pedestrian. It’s also partly influenced by this ever-present flu I can’t seem to get rid of and yes, the headache still lingers on, making me increasingly irritable and causing me to loose all grip of the English language mid-sentence (apologies if you’ve already heard this but in true style I am using my prerogative as a man to whinge about being ill).
But I don’t think it was any of the above that truly stemmed by impatience. The true change occurred following a few simple events that presented themselves over the past day or so. Yesterday, whilst at the allotment feeding the chickens and just before my exam (I needed to go somewhere to prepare and where could be better than my allotment oasis?) I spotted my first Peacock butterfly sunning itself on a fence post. I watched it for a moment or two and as I was angling myself to get a great photograph it flew off in to the dappled sunlight. After the harsh Winter and relatively poor weather thus far I was quite surprised to see one so early in the season. After all, I saw hardly any butterflies last year. The sun also added to the feeling that the world was now a much better place to be. Then I made the drive to my impending doom – my exam.
Whilst waiting for the exam to start, which was an experience in itself as it was held in a large dining room in a Grade II Victorian house with the two of us sitting at what can only be described as a 14ft antique dining table with matching chairs (?), I spotted my first Spring lambs of the year. Five of these beautiful creatures took full advantage of the sunshine and played without a care in the world as their mothers looked on.
After my exam I returned home and as I had time to spare I popped up to the garden, not something I’ve done a lot of lately. Up the limestone steps I went and I was greeted by a much-needed lift of Anemones, Iris, Hamamelis, Snowdrops and Hellebores.
These three events really did go a long way to say that I had not much longer to wait now. It’s amazing that in only a matter of days nature can signal Spring in such an assertive way.
Taking note of these hints I began my preparation for the year to come, starting with chitting the potatoes and readying the propagator. I also plan to start on the chicken run extension this coming weekend, after all, I have another six on the way!