It never fails to amaze and astonish me. Ten days ago, I held a handful of dried beans in my fingers - hard and cold and smooth - and to all intents, inert. Beans I had saved from last year, pods and contents left on the tendrils to dry out, store up their energy, save through the winter - just as our ancestors have done for centuries.
Ten days ago, I pushed them into little cells filled with compost - home-made compost, utilising all the organic refuse that would otherwise have been discarded, and watered them with rainwater, collected in the water butts in the garden.
Ten days later, the energy in the bean, the compost, the water and the light and warmth of the sun have worked their everyday miracle - up pop the little green shoots and leaves, stretching towards the window. Up pops the promise of renewal and growth - not to mention the promise of a bountiful harvest of delicious food in a few months time. (The first photograph above was taken two days ago - they have already doubled in height since then...). It's always - every year - the closest thing I witness to a miracle.
Springtime is exploding on the scene here now, which means that the garden is very determinedly calling for my attention. It is very warm for the time of the year, which means that I have to put in even more time there to 'get on top of things'. Fortunately, the clocks go forward tonight here in the UK, so there will be another blessed hour of light in the evenings which I can spend outside, and for this, (along with Monty Don on 'Gardener's World' last night) I heartily rejoice!
The greenhouse has been the protector for a few plants over the winter - here is the Gunnera, which will be going back out to sit in the pond very soon (Those leaves can reach six feet across if the plant is in the ground - one reason for it being in a pot - the other reason is to do excatly what you see here, bringing it in in this frost-pocket garden, to receive some shelter during the dark and cold days).
And here are the little offshoot sempervivums which I potted up last year - also ready to go out into the world and become proper plants in their own right, with proper root systems to support them. I love the variety in this species, don't you? (And I love free plants even more!!)
This is my latest 'indulgence' for the garden - a (reproduction) Victorian terracotta rhubarb forcing pot. I think they look just lovely in the vegetable plot - even if this one does have to wait a year for - er - the rhubarb to be planted out! (Well, what's wrong with something decorative even before it can be practical?? :-)
The daffodils are fully up all through the garden - I'll show you those next week, but here is just a taste of what they look like, accompanying Flora as she prepares to strew the garden with all her other floral bounty in the coming months.
Happy gardening, everyone!