Like a Jedi Master, I can sense a disturbance in the garden Force. Out there right now, gardeners across this land are twitching. With lightsabers replaced with trowels, these gardeners are aching for spring. To till their soil and sow their seeds of hope, whether it’s a crop or flower, right now horticulture imaginations are running wild with plans and dreams for the upcoming year.
OK, the Force really not your thing? Then take a look at gardening blogs or the Instagram photos of people sharing pictures of their horticulture adventures and packets of seeds currently arriving in the post. Believe me, if it’s a choice between a picture of a plump packet of squash seeds or a selfie of a spray-tanned beach bod pouting like a trout out of water, I know which photo impresses me the most. And if I’m honest, I too like to snap the odd seed packet or mulched bed. My recent Instagram banter with Rob Smith (2015 winner of BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge) is photographic proof.
Why not? It shows we’re not alone, we get to share our excitement with like-minded folk and inspire, share and encourage one another. If it wasn’t for Rob and his Heritage Seeds I wouldn’t have known about Honey Boat Squash. But now these, along with other seeds from his range, are going to be welcome additions to my plot this year.
From digital banter to face to face conversation, today I had a conversation at Poo Corner (the spot where the manure gets dumped at the allotment), with a newly-retired lady. She said she had hoped the allotment might get some free wood chippings from the council soon. Last week, when pushing a wheelbarrow on her plot, she lost her footing and took a tumble. Since then, she’s been a little nervous of sliding over again and putting wood chips on her paths seemed like a good solution.
Bidding our farewells, it got me thinking the wellbeing of our much-loved readers. At this time of year we’re exerting a lot of physical activity from turning over soil, mulching and getting the plot ready for warmer weather. But if you stop and think about it, have you warmed up properly? Going straight into something strenuous can cause all sorts of injuries. Just ask Agent Soph. The number of times I’ve hobbled home only for her to have to play Nurse Betty (for purely medical purposes, obvs) due to a back injury or shoulder injury. Or that time I walked through the door with a swollen tongue and lips due to some insect bite and she had to drive me to A&E.
Furthermore, with the cold weather taking hold, we’re more prone to slipping, dropping tools due to cold fingers and wanting to get tasks done that bit quicker. I’m not saying we should think about toning those six-packs and getting arms that Stallone would be proud of, but a little stretching or a brisk walk to the plot could keep us all from injury. So as one friend to another, be careful out there.
But for now, I’m off to the gym for a light workout.