My partner Sarah has been gardening on her allotment for 13 happy years now. These days it’s as essential to her as ever, providing solace and contemplation during weeks when she’s busy with her work as an independent funeral celebrant. Now spring is arriving Sarah shows us around.
Sunday. The 9th of March. Time spent in nature is both precious and necessary for me. So it’s off to my place of solace. Plot 44. My allotment on Greenbank Drive in Liverpool. A month ago the snowdrops had arrived. It’s one of the important markers in my year. ‘The snowdrops are here.’ It means spring is arriving. Like it does every year. And I am here to see it.
A month later…
But although the snowdrops will soon be gone, they open the door for the arrival of a steady stream of new growth and flowers that will carry on, unaided by me, for the next several months, and along the way provide me with much pleasure. Although I know the natural world is not doing this directly for me I am happy to observe, nonetheless.
As soon as I open the gate to Plot 44 I can sense things are different since I was last here. It’s warmer, a balmy 17 degrees today, warm for March. And I can see more green, that special spring green that only happens at this time of year.
But we are in a new season now.
Melianthus major is a frost-tender plant from South Africa, it hasn’t died back this mild winter, and the flower spires it produced last autumn have woken up.
Let’s go and have a further look…. down to the Far End….
Down here, at the Far End, the robins are active in the hedge where they have nested for several years now. I hope they are making a new nest. And there is a blackbird, collecting for her nest too.
Everywhere I look there are signs of spring.
I like the way that having a garden over time brings so many memories with it. Looking at these allium shoots, I remember the summer afternoon last year when Jake and Isaac played in the paddling pool and we had a picnic. They gave me these bulbs in thanks, and now they are here, reminding me of the turn of the year, the continuing.
Like many of the plants here, I didn’t plant them, they have just arrived. And that makes them charming, and very welcome. Even those that we might class as ‘weeds’.
And then I see it. The one indicator of spring that causes a sharp intake of breath, followed by a gasp of delight….
Thank you spring, for the promise of another year.