The first green shoots

I love this time of year because it’s when everything starts to grow. The blossom is making its appearance on the two apple trees at the bottom of the garden, the rhubarb is sprouting crunchy new stems every day and I have a row of tiny chilli plants growing in a propagator on the window ledge in my office.

Chilli plants

The chilli farm in my office

This time marks the turning point, when the dark evenings and frosty mornings of winter come to an end and spring dawns with its sense of purpose and hope. And it’s the time when I can get out into the garden and start planting the seeds of everything that I want to grow. The tomatoes, pumpkins and courgettes are already in seed trays and pots in the greenhouse, as are the mina lobata (the beautiful climbing ‘spanish flag’) and the tagetes (excellent companion plants for the tomatoes).

And that’s just the start. I have a big box of seeds still to plant, from carrots and fennel to calendula and greater quaking grass (one of my personal favourites). I’ll spend my evenings and weekends sowing, potting up and planting out until the garden is a riot of shapes, textures and colours, some edible and some just great to look at. As I said, I love this time of year.