A little warmth, a little moisture, and the gardens are bursting into action. You turn your back for what seems like just five minutes, and come back to find things have grown a foot. I live in a world of sticks and brown string at this time of year - moving from one garden to another making sure that everything is getting the support it needs to hold the weight of the crop as it develops.
|Crimson flowered broad beans|
|pea tendrils reaching for support|
It's a time of promise - the first of the salad leaves that I sowed directly into the ground are nearly ready to start harvesting.
|Spotted Bloody Cos lettuce|
The cucumbers in the hotbed and my pumpkin patch babies are starting to rev up. They throw out their tendrils at such a speed, that it seems like you could hear them squeaking as they grow if you stood still for long enough.
|baby cucumber (with aphids - c'mon you ladybirds!)|
The first tiny fruits are setting on the cucumbers - my dreams of making my own brine fermented pickles were fuelled by a visit to the Wisley bookstore, where I treated myself to Alys Fowler's lovely new book Abundance. (The fact that we're about to rip our kitchen out and fill the house with brick dust seems like a mere detail).
In the orchard the fruitlets are swelling and changing colour...
|Cornish Gillyflower apples|
..and in the fruit gardens the gooseberries hang like jewels - still rock hard, eye wateringly sour and guarded by the most ferocious prickles. I'll be wearing full body armour when it's time to pick them - and even then I'll end up covered in the kind of lacerations that look like they might be a cry for help.
Soon I should be harvesting plenty of produce to show you...
..things are looking promising!