It’s that time of year again – a few brilliant days of sunshine and you think you can leave the house without a jacket . . . only to run back absolutely freezing ten minutes later, because no, it’s not actually spring yet, no matter how warm it looks outside. We’ve been waking up to frost and glorious sunshine, getting out into the garden with purpose and walking the dogs for miles.
So yes, it’s that time of year when plans for the garden and the next growing season get as big as the sky stretching blue from Ben Nevis to the Isle of Mull. Heady and crazy, and short lived, because just the few steps from the gate to the front door is stark reminder that this weather is fleeting, especially this early in March, and that some restraint and fore thought is needed if anything is to grow and thrive in our garden. Even then, there could always be gales.
I’ve made no bones about being a fair-weather gardener, and so now is about the time I start
thinking about it again. Most of the first jobs in the garden this year will involve repairing the
damage done by the storms, especially to the Wendy house, fences and windbreaks, but also to plants, removing dead and damaged bits and taking out those that will just not recover. How do you tell? I snap bits off and if there’s any green inside, I leave them and hope for the best. Or, if I love them enough, I leave them and hope for the best. Scientific, I know! But I’m always amazed at the will of things to live, and like much in gardening, blind faith seems to count more than an almanac.
Repairing, replacing and getting out to mow the lawn for the first time. Not very exciting, but
necessary, and then we can start on the big jobs. My plans this year involve finally getting up a bean cathedral (remember my News Years resolution not to make any new plans or set new goals?), moving the tattie patch (which requires digging a new bed), refreshing the areas around the raised beds (in reality this means hours of weed pulling and collecting more gravel from the beach, but ‘refreshing’ makes it sound like less work) and moving a flower bed I put in towards the end of last year that just isn’t working.
The small jobs are nicer and can be done now, with my feet up where it’s warm: cutting up
catalogues to plan some buying, starting the sweet peas, ordering a few seeds. I still don’t have a reliable system for planting inside; with out a green house or polytunnel if I want to start anything early it must go on a windowsill. So last year I decided not to buy any flower seeds at all, having had nothing to show for them. It’s not so easy though, when the sun is shining and everything is so full of promise!
How do you take time out when the sun is shining? What are your plans for growing things this year?
I’d love to know!