It seemed as though spring had finally arrived this week, albeit alongside some decidedly un-spring-like weather. One moment you were taking off your coat and scarf whilst walking revelling in the feeling of the sun warming your back, and the next you were dashing into the house, chucking extra coal on the fire and huddling there like you had just returned from a solo expedition to the north pole. Living right at the top of the valley as we do means that we are quite exposed to the elements, which can feel completely liberating on a beautiful sunny day, but when it is windy and pissing it down it is quite a different story. As it is almost the end of the very worst school term, I have been feeling completely exhausted. I have been writing long to do lists that I never complete, and making grand weekend plans that I feel too overwhelmed by, by the time the weekend comes round, and collapsing in our chair by the fire each night completely bone-tired. Yesterday I came home after a long day, at the end of a long week, and just cried. Cried like an overtired child at the end of a birthday party. Jonny being the incredibly kind and patient chap that he is, brought me all of the things that he could think of to make me feel better, before going out for the evening. I was in no state to socialise, so I curled up in front of the fire and watched some of season 2 of The Crown (really good by the way – would highly recommend). Ate a baked potato, and got into bed. Sometimes you just need to listen to your body, and mine was telling me that I needed to chill out.
But all of that lethargy and existential angst disappeared this morning when we woke up to the most beautiful spring day. After eating my breakfast in the garden, I took Frank on one of my favourite walks around here – just in my jumper, no coat needed(!) before getting stuck into the flower garden. I like calling this overgrown slightly shabby patch of the garden the flower garden, as it couldn’t really look less like a flower garden at the minute. My plan over the next few weeks is to dig over the existing flowerbeds, dig in a new one to run along the fence at the back, and plant out all of our plants from our old garden that are currently all sat in pots in a little gang by our back door. I will then spend several weeks resisting the lure of the garden centre (we are trying hard to be frugal at the minute, and I can spend a dangerous amount of money if set free in a garden centre) and try to grow the majority my flowers from seed instead.
After a lovely hour of digging in the sunshine, Kate came over and gave me a masterclass in making newspaper pots for my broad beans and sweet peas (check out her excellent YouTube tutorial on how to make them here). These useful things, whilst looking very pinterest worthy, are also the perfect vehicle for a bean or pea. They are long and have a hole at the bottom for the root, and all you have to do when they are ready plant out is stick them straight in the soil! The newspaper will quickly rot away, you won’t get root disturbance, and you won’t have to have a stack of nasty plastic pots left over! I will be planting these over the Easter holidays (only one week to go!!) So I will do a post in a few weeks time about that. Kate also came and had a good poke around the garden, and gave me some advice on planning our garden in a more harmonious way – from a permaculture perspective. This was really interesting, and definitely something I am going to research further myself. This time next week we will be in London, spending time with some of our favourite people, and eating as much delicious food as is socially acceptable…. Don’t you bloody love holidays?