Suddenly spring is upon us; all thoughts of winter, snow and skiing have been shelved for another year, and our attention has turned to the garden. Everywhere I turn new life is emerging. It’s not an instant change, rather it’s as if the garden has been hibernating all winter and slowly, like a child, it is waking up, opening one eye, taking a cautious peak to see if it is time to get up and then slowly stretching; and although not quite fully awake it has definitely decided it is safe to get out of bed. The cobb trees, however, seem to be a little blurry eyed still…. The ash, not fully awake but so close…. And the first real blossom to appear in the garden was that of the plum trees…. Whatever the weather, the camellias are one of the first flowering spring shrubs…. And then there is the evergreen laurel which has provided such welcome foliage all winter…. When I step outside at dawn now, nature’s orchestra is in full flow; first light is always the loudest time and everything has a certain spring in its step. The first lizards have appeared, scuttling across the old terra-cotta tiles of the summer kitchen and insect life has suddenly multiplied. The chickens follow us everywhere, and if we are in the house they love nothing better than to nose around outside the kitchen door. Despite an abundance of fruit trees, grape-vines and various currant bushes, the one thing missing when we bought the house was a proper vegetable garden. This week we have started to change that and the children are also keen to each have their own little area. One evening over supper we asked them what they wanted to grow; the smallest quickly replied strawberries and broccoli, the second smallest suggested watermelons and lemons, and the discussion quickly turned into a friendly argument about what one could grow, and what one could not grow, in SW France. The teenagers snorted with laughter at their younger siblings.
There is still plenty of work before the first seeds can be sown, but there’s never any fear of being lonely! I hope over the coming weeks and months we will be able to bring you lots of photos as the vegetable garden develops and produces and we’ll see just what the youngest members of the family actually end up growing!
Alas though, March is a fickle month and I suspect that no sooner have we hung up our woolen hats and thick scarfs than we’ll be getting them out again!
This post is linked up to the How Does Your Garden Grow weekly blog link run by Mammasaurus.