The Danes call daffodils Easter lilies. Spring will be moving fast there now, the light unleashed. Me too, freed from quarantine. I’m forever grateful to have the roof terrace, our own piece of sky with potted spring bulbs. I’m waiting now for the summer birds to gather on the priory cross across the road. The return of people to their allotments.
This is the long weekend. Four days to reacquaint. With the site, soil, the year’s seed, fellow gardeners.
This is the long weekend. Four days to reacquaint. With the site, the soil, the year’s seed, your fellow gardeners
We’ll be missing John this year. The most skilled grower at Branch Hill, a retired head gardener from a nearby heritage house. And now retired from his allotment. He was welcoming when we first arrived. A quiet smile of encouragement, a true connection to the earth. He had feelings about planting potatoes on Good Friday. He sang folksongs at the BBQs in his sweet clear Irish tenor. I hope we manage work parties and cook-ups later in the summer. I hope John will join us.
The ground covers will be coming off everywhere. Land reawakened. I’ll worry about the tadpoles and the passing hungry heron. Mostly I’ll reconnect with the plot, aching for hands in land.
April can be a stubborn month in the beginning. Even here in the south. To sow or not to sow. To cover seedlings at night or not. I suspect we’ll sow hardy salad leaves, some flowers. I am trying to be more practical. Be more John.
The trouble is I’m buying more seed as it’s more on my mind. I’m easily seduced by colourful displays. The promise of summer, of salads and peas and beans, of a reconnection with calendula, tagetes, nasturtium. With the past, with the future. My own resurrection.
A small piece of land reawakened: new green growth, sun on your face, spring showers, perhaps a few leaves for lunch. Happy Easter everyone.
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com