It has been a cold winter and a slow spring and I’ve been paying heed to my mother’s advice that you should only sow seeds when the soil is warm enough to sit on without any undergarments on. I have shown a woeful lack of commitment when it comes to actually trying out this old gardening gem and just got stuck in… (What ever would Monty say?).
After a couple of days of warm sunshine I unfolded my enormous sowing and planting spreadsheet, galvanised my lovely helpers and ventured on to the plot with rake in hand. Last year I felt constantly one step behind schedule with our unforgiving soil, a very hot and dry spell in April and no plan – my Mum and I just sowed seeds when and where possible. This year is a very different story; the soil is much finer having had a year of compost and lots of rain, and I have spent a few spare hours in the evenings making a plan which should save us time and stress.
We are sowing seeds such as larkspur and sunflowers every 2 weeks so we can get a longer season and a more constant supply of our favourite flowers. So far larkspur, gypsophila, nigella and molucella have gone in, and sunflowers will go in after Easter. We are filling the polytunnel with modules (small compartments of peat-free compost, which will save us the task of ‘pricking out’) including scabious, ageratum, amaranthus and celosia. There are also a few wild-cards like didiscus and orlaya grandiflora (a posh cow parsley). Let’s hope some come up.
A lovely allotment holder, who had been growing prize-winning veg since he was a boy, once said to me very sweetly: “Its all an experiment – we are all learning.” If we get one or two nice surprises this year, we’ll be delighted. We certainly had a few last year, both with our flowers and life in general!
It’s great to be back… And, for those of you who’ve asked after the ‘bump’, here’s Rowan, now 6 months old.