It looks as if gardens everywhere are beginning to wake up after a long cold winter.
I'm picking up the baton from Andy, another tough act to follow, with his thoughtful remarks on healing; and then John’s welcome observations that Spring is not far away…
…. which means that it’s soon going to be a busy time on the allotment and in my little city garden too.
I popped over to the Transition Norwich allotment yesterday and checked up on progress. The broad beans have survived bitter cold and are doing well; also the spring cabbages, garlic and onions (my second pic is of broad beans raised from Stan’s seeds – Sabberton Supremes!).
I’m doing some trials to find out which varieties do best. No chance at all of remembering what each variety is and where I planted them, partly because Mr Fox digs up my plant labels; so I have to keep a notebook with sketches and notes.
I've been learning a lot from fellow-Transitioners about the wider perspective on gardening. I’d love to keep bees; but Nigel advises that it’s a long term commitment and needs attention several times a week. He keeps bees in Woodbridge and suggested that the best thing for me to do at the moment would be to plant bee-friendly shrubs, especially things that provide food in winter.
And I’ve acquired a wonderfully diverse bird population in my little city patch, which I am watching as I type. I was inspired by Charlotte and Mark, whose rambling country garden is dotted with treats and feeders, with birds darting everywhere. Now I’ve installed some cylinders of nuts and seeds; and I won’t tidy away the leaves and seed-heads until Spring is really here.
Books: two great gardening books that I’d recommend are:
- The Edible Container Garden by Michael Guerra (great for growing food in tiny urban spaces)
- From Seed to Plate by Paolo Arrigo (lots of advice on unusual and delicious Italian vegetables, things that we can grow here in Norfolk)