Spring Hope!

It’s raining, it’s wet, it’s cold, you’re in lockdown, you can’t go out, you can’t see friends, you can’t go to the pub, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, and yet, and yet…………..


Every now and again, the sun comes out, you see blue sky, gradually, just gradually, you espy some crocuses (or is it ‘crocii’?) poking their little heads up into the air, the cyclamen are showing off their delicate white and pink flowers, held above a low carpet of marbled heart-shaped foliage, robins seem to be around more with their merry chirp, the wind drops, the mud on your walk dries out, the sun sets that little bit later each day, the tips of the daffs are straining to have their moment of glory in the sun with the tulips not far behind, and wait, is it getting warmer?


Whisper it, but spring might be just around the corner, a spring like no other, not only in weather terms but also in our lives as the terrible pandemic seems to be receding.  It is the ultimate spring of hope and optimism.


Just look in the newspapers and online – ’72 spectacular perennial plants for £14.99’….., ‘Amazing colourful begonia plants for £13.99’.  One can imagine the fresh and vibrant colours of spring and summer flowers bringing an eye candy of beauty with heady scents.  It is time to start planning!


Plug plants can be started in the greenhouse in heated propagators or on sunny windowsills and then potted on ready for planting in April or May, a constant reminder of what is to come.


Vegetable sowing can begin – some hardy crops like broad beans and lettuce can be planted indoors in preparation to plant outdoors in March, and tomatoes and peppers can be directed to unheated greenhouses in April.  Many seeds benefit from an early start, including leeks, parsnips and carrots.


Time also to prepare the flower beds, a quick dig over to aerate them, ready for the bounty in the greenhouse.


So after a torrid few months, with many of us suffering hardship and tragedy, we must learn to look up, to respect each other, to return to our natural caring and sharing ways, and, most of all, to allow nature to take us by the hand and lead us out of the tunnel into the sunlight.


Enjoy spring - in every way!


Malcolm Richardson