well, we have been busy the last few weeks, preparing the beds, weeding, incorporating compost and mulching the perennials, sowing seeds, planting up bulbs and corms. There have been some beautiful days where we have managed to finish off our paths, put in another bench, build a storage area, put in fencing and plan a pergola. Phew! Also been moving seedlings from workshop to plot and excited to see the first flowers emerging from their winter sleep, including lovely Pulmonarias, Hellebores and Snowdrops. The shoots of Alliums and Tulips are coming through and the Granny’s Bonnets are waking up. We are busy sowing more seeds so we have a succession throughout the summer, small but often is our guiding motto. We have welcomed our Occupational Therapy student as well as another volunteer, so it really is full steam ahead now.
It is such an exciting time when we start sowing seeds. We have started off some Achillea, Catananche, Cerinthe, Sweet Peas, Echinacea, Chives, Dill, Statice, Knapweed and grasses. All are beginning to come up, they always seem so vulnerable at first and totally dependant on us to care for them. This is one of the most powerful things about growing plants. They allow people who have been accustomed to receiving care, often for long periods of time, to care for things themselves. This is both empowering and nurturing. Seeds represent hope, life and growth even when seemingly so inert. They continue the circle of life that keeps returning year after year. It is a wonderful feeling to see their tiny green shoots poking through the compost. It never ceases to amaze me.
A new year means a new start, and what better way to start than to look through seed catalogues and dream about all the wonderful plants that we can grow this season. I can hardly wait to tear open those seed packets. Even after all these years of growing plants I still find the germination of seeds incredibly exciting. Just thinking about these little dried vessels (time capsules of genetic plant material) which look so fragile, so ephemeral, just waiting for the perfect conditions in which to germinate, fills me with wonder. There is such a wealth of material available to us; annuals, biennials, perennials, trees and shrubs which can all be started from seed. The list is endless and no two growers will grow exactly the same colour palette or mix the same scents. Tomorrow we will start the sweet peas and as the wind batters the window panes we will daydream of clear blue summer skies and heavenly smells drifting through the air.