Spring, I am ready for you. I’m poised, like a Bake-off contestant with a crisp, freshly pressed apron and a plethora of brand spanking new tins ready to be filled. Or a school kid at the start of term with a new pencil case and sharpened pencils, clean white socks pulled up to my knees and shiny new shoes, all ready to be scuffed.
My grandfathers old gardening tools have been scrubbed clean in Jeys fluid, sharpened with a huge pumice stone, the metal parts sprayed with WD40, and the wooden shafts lightly sanded and rubbed with oil (I hope he’d be proud). I have sorted through my seed trays, thrown out the broken ones and bought some new. I’ve replenished my supplies of seed compost and multi-purpose for repotting. The propagator has been cleaned and reinstated on the windowsill of my lean-to conservatory. Chilli seeds have so far been sown. The allotment shed has been swept free of cobwebs, dried clods of mud and spilt seeds, my largest trug filled with paraphernalia good only for the local recycling centre – torn netting, redundant tub lids, compost bags beyond re-use. The scrappy old cardboard box that used to house my seeds for direct plot sowing, has been upgraded to a sealed plastic box. I have even washed the old scrap of a towel that hangs on the back of the shed door (picture below is ‘before’) and my gardening gloves, and mended (okay, going to mend very soon) the hole that always wears through on the index finger of the right hand glove. They’re perfectly good otherwise!
I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready or more organised than I am this year. As with many a Bake-off contestant, it’ll probably all go downhill from here on. A freshly baked cake dropped on the floor will be my tray of precious seedlings accidentally upended, their failure to add a key ingredient will be my failure to sow a key crop in the recommended sowing window. I will scrabble together and bodge and blunder like a true amateur, and then when my harvest comes good, I will proudly show it off like of course I knew what I was doing, it was all perfectly planned!
But whether I’m riding high on the waves of success or doggy paddling while trying to keep my head above water, I’m ready for it all.