The garden is a generous thing – despite the endless rain! 

Our tulips are inches high, our narcissi are budding up, I’ve potted on lots of cuttings which have rooted happily through the winter.  And we have lots and lots of tiny seedlings popping up everywhere, which always makes me happy.  To have a tunnel full of seedlings is like having a house full of hope! 

We won’t be direct sowing outside for another few weeks – really end of March, beginning of April, but we do have two tunnels full of ranunculus, anemones and the first annuals for the year.

The sweet peas which we planted into the tunnel just before Christmas have a net to climb now, and it’s as though we, and the garden, are all holding our breath, ready to pounce. 

Into seed trays I’ve sown my first outdoor crop of fusspots and people who take a bit of extra care to germinate: vaccaria Hispanica and bottom-heat loving orlaya grandiflora, and the grasses which I can’t direct-sow because when they germinate I can’t tell which are invading meadow and which the grasses I need for cutting. 

Crop two of sweet peas are in root trainers in the cool tunnel Fort Knoxed against the marauding mice. 

And I’m beginning to get really good chunks of time in the garden: the first full afternoon of five whole hours without a break on 23rd Feb was very exciting as I came in at 6pm and it wasn’t even properly dark yet.  It’s amazing how much I find myself getting done! 

Over the gloomy winter months, when the sap is certainly not rising, I move more slowly, achieve nothing in the brief hours between darkness and darkness, and look back with amazement to the summer in which a two page to do list holds no fear – in the winter I’m overwhelmed by having to go and water the tunnels for half an hour once a week!