Last year’s daffodils have just flowered in our rather forlorn front garden this week, adding a welcome splash of colour among the dull greys and browns. They may been flattened almost immediately by the recent storms but nonetheless, I’m counting their appearance, along with an increase in birdsong outside our bedroom window in the early hours, as a confirmation of the arrival of spring. After what has felt like a particularly long winter, I’m looking forward to spending much more time outside and to escaping the four walls we’ve been stuck in before cabin fever well and truly sets in.
I am also looking forward to making a proper go out of growing our own fruit and veg this year. Although we have done so successfully many times in the past in other houses, our last two growing seasons here have been a bit of a failure. Pregnancy, a baby, territorial cats and a garden flooded with sewage were just some of the reasons that contributed to this. However, I’m feeling confident that this year is our year! So today we unpacked our herb garden kit from the RHS to explore what we’d been given and put up their bright cheery posters, got some tomato seeds planted and generally made some plans about what we want to do and grow this year.
I was almost persuaded by Isaac to buy a lemon and orange tree from Aldi but managed to resist, rationalising that I should make proper plans before starting to buy things spontaneously. Dan had the genius idea of getting a little greenhouse, nothing fancy, to protect our plants from children, cats and birds alike. I’ve spotted one I like and have started planning what the shelves will be full of. Tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, salad, herbs, peas, sweet potato, squash, onions, garlic, broccoli and raspberries have made the (ambitious) cut so far but no doubt I’ll be persuaded to try one or two other things as well. No doubt also my more sensible other half will gently point out that I can’t fit all of that into the greenhouse and I’ll have to prioritise. But still, it’s good to dream big eh?
Apart from the satisfaction of not having to buy it from the shops and the fact that it tastes so much better, my favourite thing about growing our own is how much it engages the kids. They already love being outside so need little persuasion to get involved when I head out to garden. Sophia and Isaac are both very capable at basic gardening tasks and eager to help and I imagine that Elijah will be much the same this year. (The worried home-edder in me also loves that I can tick off science and maths in the process!) So why not pop to your garden centre with your small folk this weekend and get them to help you pick some seeds and do some growing of your own this spring?