The equinox was on Wednesday which, I have on good authority, means that Spring has officially sprung and that the extra daylight will (as it does reliably every year) see our gardens, woods and open spaces burst into new life.
We moved to our little cottage just over a year ago and I haven’t done anything to the garden that merits a mention. Over the last week or two, a few archetypal spring flowers have appeared – such a welcome sight, daffodils nodding in the breeze. They make me smile. The rest of the garden however is rather bare.
We do have one rather weedy looking shrub with heavy red camellias hanging on it which I was sorely tempted to give the chop. But then I decided to use some of these early Spring flowers in a vase on our dining room table, so it got a reprieve.
Never ceases to amaze me that despite having planted so little in our garden since we moved here, that there always seems to be something I can cut and display in the house. I like to use masses of foliage – bay seems to be particularly good as it grows prolifically, is a beautiful dark green and lasts for ages in a vase.
I’m very happy to report that Husband is brilliant with the lawnmower. Doesn’t even need to be asked as he’s very keen on making green stripes and is out there in his wellies and shirt sleeves at the earliest opportunity.
Anyhow, on entering our ramshackle shed, with its wonderfully evocative slightly musty smell, I discovered my secateurs had rusted and gone blunt, our gardening gloves looked frayed and the hosepipe gun was leaking. So seems we need to replace those before getting to grips with our little garden.
So I hopped onto Amazon Prime and chose a good quality multispray gun (have learned from bitter experience that cheap sprays last about three milliseconds and we’re probably in for a very long, very hot summer this year).
Then picked some cheerful daffodil yellow unisex gardening gloves.
As our friend Mario has just had his 50th birthday – Buon compleanno bello – I know a bit about secateurs because that was, after much research, one of our gifts to him.
Our long handled shears were OK so we decided to saw some branches off a pear tree last weekend. We weren’t sad to see it go. Last summer instead of juicy ripe pears we got masses of instantly rotten ones littering the flowerbed underneath the tree.
We also had a general tidy up and I must say that doing the garden together was great fun.
Husband has also dug over his much loved veg patch, ready for planting. He only started it last year and had considerable success. Notably with his courgettes (we crammed the flowers with ricotta and mint and shallow fried them – yum) and shaved the courgettes into long strips for CW’s hugely popular recipe Courgette, Lemon & Honey Salad). There were also some flavourful cucumbers and crispy multi coloured radishes. The potatoes were, sadly, a jaw dropping failure and his runner beans were – to put it politely – bl**dy stringy! All his veg patch has in it at the moment is this extremely tasteful gift from our son:
Anyhow, he’s decided he needs a terracotta cloche for his rhubarb so I found this RHS beauty online which I’m going to treat him to. After all, I like going into the utility room in the summer and finding the homegrown produce he’s neatly laid out on kitchen towels for me to cook. Makes us feel very Tom and Barbara from “The Good Life”. So he deserves a treat…
Soon it will be time to go shopping and stock up on garden goodies. Much to the amusement of our son who seems to think that visiting garden centres is a sign of old age but, hey, Husband and I gave up clubbing yonks ago and we’re unashamed of our love of gardening plants and paraphenalia!
Am going stock up on perennials, my faves which will (hopefully) pop up year after year with fabulously welcome regularity. The plant I miss the most is the Daphne Odora – we used to have one planted either side of our front door at our previous house and it’s early Spring fragrance was always a joy. After that I’m going to stop spending!