Friday, 26 March 2010

Rising sap

Some nice spring sunshine today, albeit despite a stiff breeze which denotes the last traces of what's seemed like a long cold winter. I dug out the propagator this morning and sowed a packet of tomato seeds. I did the same thing last year, but since I don't have a greenhouse I had to wait for a suitable spell of warm-ish weather to plant them outdoors, and to cut a long story short they didn't have a long enough growing season to produce anything much in the way of fruit before a cold wet autumn killed them all off. But I have had notable success in previous years gowing tomatoes, so it won't hurt to give it another go: they are one of the easier crops to look after once they've got big enough not to get demolished by slugs and snails.

Looking back on it, I've always found gardening very therapeutic: I think it must date from the days when we lived in a village in the country and as a small boy I had my very own strawberry bed in the enormous garden there. I can't remember whether it ever produced any fruit or not, though!

As a teenager, I think I did most of the gardening at home: we lived in a big detached house in Kenilworth, and I remember how neglected it had got when we moved in. The bottom of the back garden was waist-deep in nettles and it took a couple of seasons before it was licked into shape. My parents bought some fruit bushes - gooseberries and blackcurrants, I think - and we grew vegetables, too, having notable success with runner beans, but not with peas which I could never see much point in growing since frozen ones were cheap, plentiful and there wasn't any real difference in taste. It was fun picking the other crops, though, and savouring the taste of real home-grown vegetables!

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