Listening to the news has always been an enjoyable way of spending time for me but it’s got tricky these days, I’m sure the last thing you need to hear more of is Brexit, so let’s take a step back and appreciate the finer things in life, in short, being gardener. I notice more than ever that being on my allotment and around plants has a massive effect on my state of mind. It provides comfort, calm, space and pure simple enjoyment. It works on every level, and it’s great to be a part of an organisation like Garden Organic who promote this wonderful way to spend our valuable time.
So what make us feel this way? Well, in May particularly, it has to be seedlings. So many plants, whether it’s on the allotment, on the balcony or attending flower shows with GO, it feels like everybody and everything is growing. The only downside to this wonderful news, is the weeds. I’m hoeing between the straight lines I sow into, thinning out my crops and making sure it’s my plants – not the weeds - that are the dominant ones. This is what it’s all about at the moment. My balcony offers different challenges, it still crossing over from the spring planting to the summer season but it’s still all about the watering, checking and keeping the plants happy.
Getting back to the allotment, it’s full on down there at the moment. Nearly every plot is busy, and with every type of plot holder. It is always up lifting to me to see how individual each allotment is, each one is unique. Some smart, some haphazard, all loved in their own way. Gardening to me is synonymous with viva la difference!
My gardening activities fluctuate between indoors and out. I’m wary of getting going outside too early, and will eye the month of May with suspicion as far as the weather is concerned. The people who taught me to garden would not plant tender plants, like tomato, until June 1st. So my Heritage tomatoes will have to sit on the desk for a few days yet, taking precedence over my laptop. They will however be getting regular fresh air as I move them outside during the day to harden them off, and get them ready for their outdoor life.
My balcony is thriving in terms of fresh food. A large container with a wick watering system and a cover, produces a fine fresh salad bar. Simple crops such as salad, rocket, spinach, micro-green and lettuce are fresh on the plate in the Collins household, proving that you don't need loads of space to have decent, self-grown food.
Work takes me on the road, with the Garden Organic team. We kicked off with a great few days at Toby’s garden festival near Exeter, and will soon be moving on to Gardeners’ World Live in Birmingham. I’ll also be at Chelsea but the main event for GO will be the Edible Allotment Garden at Tatton flower show. Watch this blog as it all gets going and growing...
Until the next time, happy gardening people!