Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Yesterday I finally felt that spring was here. Lately it's been a bit tricky remembering which season we're in, what with the snow, rain, cold, rain, hailstones and rain. But yesterday, ah - warmth and sunshine. I sat in my garden, typing this, surrounded by the sounds of chatty birds, lawnmowers and the odd drone of a bumblebee. I watched (I can touch type) a butterfly sunning itself on our slide and next door's frothy blossom gently doing a little dance in the breeze. Bliss.
So what's a girl to do with time, and a toddler, on her hands? No, no prizes for guessing. I remembered to take everything I needed, which in itself is a minor miracle, and packed a bribe (or as I described it, a picnic) for the little one and we headed to our patch.
I can't say I wasn't feeling a little concerned that it would be one Stress Fess from Hell as I haven't been up to the allotment with anyone under the age of three on my own for a looooong time.
But I needn't have worried. The toddler was absolutely fine, actually better than fine. He stuck next to me, didn't take the opportunity to wander when I wasn't looking, kept off others' plots and dug away on various bits of earth.
I'll just gloss over the time he walked over my newly emerging carrots and just-planted peas. Or how he plonked himself down in the patch that I'd just dug over for my broad beans. Nope, he was a star.
We stayed for nearly two hours and I managed to sow three more rows of carrots. I had meant to do it last time but didn't. Tiny little shoots are now poking their head out of the soft bed of compost I made for the first lot I sowed, so I felt encouraged to sow some more.
My carrots are never prolific growers so last year I decided to sow them in rows filled with compost and then covered them with it before giving them a water. But still, not much grew. I think it got warmer and the wet compost baked a nice, hard crust so this year I did the same without the watering.
Today I ran out of compost so I sowed one row directly into the soil. I'm sure it won't be successful but it'll be interesting to find out if my cossetting way does make a difference. I also managed to sow a double row of sugar snap and another of broad beans. I'm not holding out much hope for these - I'm sure a mouse is sharing our plot.
There is still much to do, but I'm feeling happier and ever so slightly green-fingered, if only a delicate shade of a hint-of-apple. Then again, it could, of course, just be because sun was at last shining!