A handful of fat leeks were pulled up from the soil, more black plastic sheeting laid down to warm the soil, and December’s garlic was transplanted from pot to earth, giving us five-and-a-half rows of green shoots, and over a hundred bulbs of garlic to come.
The soil dug easily, part crumbly, part clay; warmed by its few weeks under plastic. I teased apart the jumble of long white roots on each shooting clove of garlic before plunging them back into the soil. The pot-grown shoots have a slight advantage over the later direct-planted cloves, but all show firm green shoots. Perhaps I should have used string to mark my rows though, they weave in a rather drunken manner. “Cottage garden style!” we exclaim and smile.
There is a new quality to the sun, despite frosty mornings and cold nights; during the day it streams into long-forgotten nooks and crannies of house and heart. The cats bound around the garden, gaining confidence in their new kingdom, climbing the stacks of wooden pallets and sizing up the trees.
The birds sing through the clear skies, daffodils unfold their golden petals and the pear tree cordons are bejewelled with green feathery buds.
Spring, it seems, is finally making its presence felt.