As the days lengthen and the sun makes an appearance, the sap rises in the Croft Garden team. Spring fever? More like running a slight temperature. Like everything else in these islands, Spring happens slowly and cannot be rushed. So last week the gardening tools were locked in the shed and out came the concrete mixer and the paint brushes. Just time to put up one more fence and give the holiday cottage a little more care and attention before Easter. What colour is the new paint work? No need to ask – I’ve really no idea how the paint got into my hair, but then it always does! A combination of terracotta and forest green is far more interesting than a blue rinse.
Apart from the multi-hued Under-gardener everything is now ship-shape and Bristol fashion. Well, apart from the lawn which we’re not talking about and which I refuse to discuss, and the new border in the ornamental garden which is full of buttercups again.
So it was back to weeding duties while the Head Gardener applied himself to the serious business of planting tatties and onions. Not a job for apprentices as the lines have to be equidistant, parallel and the same length whilst the sets or tubers have to be equally spaced and vertical.
It would be foolish, rash, intemperate and dare I say impatient to even think of planting anything yet – I confess to planting some rhubarb crowns last week and spent all Tuesday night worrying about them as we were hit by a very cold north-easterly gale (the one that dumped 8 inches of snow on Aviemore). So it’s more weeding and ground preparation, and enjoying the garden as it slowly wakes up from its winter hibernation. All the more time to enjoy a few early delights!