There is something rather pleasurable about the patter of rain on the glass overhead, while working in the greenhouse in short-sleeves, warm and dry. I get the same sense of wellbeing when lying warm and dry in a sturdy tent with rain drumming on the canopy above me, relatively secure that the outdoors will remain outside, yet enjoying being so close to the elements.
There were occasional squalls as I pricked out and potted up various plants this weekend. The second set of tomatoes and cucumbers raised on a sunny windowsill in the house were ready to be potted on from the modules they were sown in. A line of Echinacea pallida in a seed tray indoors had large waxy seed leaves, and showed good root growth as they too were assigned their own pots.
I had idly sowed a seedtray’s width of Lupinus cruickshankii ‘Sunrise’ left over from last year, and these had pushed up large seedleaves within a week. Gently coaxing the first one out of the tray, I found a strong root exceeding six inches in length; the others were not much shorter, even where their seed leaves were still constrained by the remains of their seed case. Lupins are not said to transplant too well, though I had no problems with this variety last year so followed the same method. Tucking these roots into individual pots, however, I made a mental note to sow them directly into pots at least in the future, rather than subjecting them to the shallows of seed trays. I darted back to the house between showers.
Later on as the weekend drew to a close, I spent an hour weeding the front borders, noting new growth on the small seed-raised lavenders and the box cuttings, dark clusters of buds on the wallflowers and red shoots on the roses, avoiding daffodil and allium shoots. It’s amazing how much detail you miss when walking past. The sun shone upon me as I worked, though the air was cool. The threat of rain was never far away but held off while the light remained in the sky, until I returned to the house on Sunday evening; soil embedded beneath my fingernails, a trug full of weeds and a tidy border left outside.