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Noun -

· the season of the year between winter and summer, lasting from March to June north of the equator when the weather becomes warmer and leaves and plants start to grow again.

· A time for growth and renewal.

It seems so strange to be writing this blog post at the end of the Spring, I wanted to share photos and memories of the cutting plot in the first season of me down there, excitedly share spring weddings and the flower season best bits… but as Spring started – life as we knew it shut down overnight. Schools finished on a Friday not to return, weddings postponed, and our family/work life turned upside down.

Plot 75a was one of the first places I gravitated towards with the children in tow when Britain locked down. An outdoor classroom and at most a place to enjoy some peace, no BBC news updates, no people, no radio and no anxieties. Its so important in uncertain times to look after your mental health and check in on your friends and colleagues. With my help William and Eliza have been crafty each week and creating some ideas to help ‘green up your gaff’ and get people hands on with plants, flowers and growing with the hope that more people will get growing and sowing and fall in love with gardening like we have!

75a wasn't mine yet last spring so I was very eager to see what surprises came up (if any) and what a treat I had. The whole of the veg section was covered in bright lemon daffs, and no sooner had the daffs finished but a sea of red emerged with the most stunning tulips followed by the deep purple and striking yellow of the Iris. I had planted my own bulbs in the winter but not in that spot! Being greeted by the spring bulbs has been one of my highlights and leaving with armfuls of tulips is just the best medicine for a bad home school day. I racked my brain with how I could keep them in the same place and make the plot productive , but its just not possible and my whole veggie section would be over run with bulbs. – Then came the mammoth task of digging up and sorting them into crates for this autumns planting in a better position .

The purples, lilacs, whites and greens in the ‘cottage garden’ strip have stolen the show in the last few weeks. A late spring celebration with large allium blooms, dainty white varieties, a rosemary in flower, Muscari holding on until the very end, and the parrot tulips doing their dance.

Not only is the plot important for cut flower, mental health and community spirit but also for environmental purposes. The mini cottage garden has been buzzing with activity and watching the bumblebees land on the huge globe flower heads of the alliums has been fascinating not only for me, but for the 2 little students I’ve gained

for the last 10 weeks.

What else has been happening on the plot ..

  • the grass has been laid, I managed to salvage some turf off cuts for free , which after a lot of water and some jumping on from the kids to root it, has taken pretty well, and now when they get fed up of weeding for mum, they can spread out, read a book, play lego and even picnic in comfort.

  • Sweet peas in and although growing, they seem to be taking a slow and steady approach – I can’t help but be envious when the plot adjacent has his climbing 3 times the size!

  • Rose plants fed and tended to

  • seed tray upon, seed tray at home with the perennials and self-seeding annuals ready to harden off and take down the plot. (yes, every windowsill has been utilised) and id recommend Hyllis shelves from Ikea- they come with a plastic cover and are a great cold frame and not too ugly looking! I have kitted out my workshop with them and would highly recommend- I don’t know about you but I always find the generic mini greenhouses with plastic covers don’t last more than one year and the poles pop out and shelves warp.

  • Dahlias split and planted – 31 last count – first time splitting so we will see!

  • Prairie section planted up and mulched, I lost one of the 3 ornamental grasses. Antheum, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Amaranth varieties potted on and put in! Cannot wait to see this section glow later in the year.

All I can finish by saying is that I hope everyone has a lovely summer, and whatever the state of play in the months to come just make sure you look after eachother and most of all yourself. Its ok to not be ok,

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