Sunday, 6 March 2011

Growing Inspiration

Up went the fruit cage today. It was like building with giant meccano, and Andy managed most of the construction himself, my help required only when several unruly pieces of steel needed holding at specific angles so they could be bashed together.

'It says in the instructions not to put up the mesh until Winter is over,' said Andy, once the actual structure was in place and we stood back and thought how much bigger it was than we'd anticipated. 'In case snow makes it collapse.'

I am fed up with Winter. It seems to have gone on forever this year. It has been hard work trying to stay motivated and engaged during the dark, cold days.

'I think Winter is over,' I said. I am thinking of all the flowers and blossoms that are out, the little patch of violets by the front gate, the new buds on the trees and bushes, the birds giving it some at 6 in the morning, the bees making more frequent forays into the great outdoors after three months hived up. I am thinking of Mrs Pumphrey's new Easter bonnet which is a confection to be seen to be believed.

'Even so,' said Andy. 'We might get more snow.'
'Ha!' said I. I am not having more snow. No way. No how.

But we decided to wait another month, just in case.

So we spent all morning starting to get plot 87 ready for this year. We made good progress. We dismantled one of the compost bins, dug over a couple of the growing areas and spread some compost from the bins at home. Andy planted some raspberry canes in their new fruit cage home, and I played hunt the renegade parsnips and carrots. We cut back the Jerusalem artichokes and gathered all the canes and netting together in a neat pile. We made plans for the polytunnel and the grape vines which will be coming into their third year this year and I'm hoping they might go wild and spread themselves further afield than the two feet they managed last year.

All together a strenuous but satisfying morning.

Unfortunately, I can't move now. And I fear I may be doing a very realistic impersonation of Mrs Woodentop tomorrow morning.

But it's good to get back to work in earnest on our mini patch of farm life, after what has been a very cold and very wet Winter when all one can do is stare blankly and morosely at the darkness and wetness of it all.

And did you see any of the World Book Night coverage on TV last night? Excellent stuff. It certainly fired me up to keep on writing, keep on exploring new genres.

It has, all in all, been an life-inspirational weekend.

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