Last week a friend of mine who is a horticulturist popped round for a catch up and to help us with some decisions about the greenhouse we’re planning to put in. I enjoy her visits, however as a novice gardener (even after eight years of tending various forms of garden I still very much consider myself a beginner) there is often an element of shame attached when she glances around and spots all the things I don’t. This time as she was leaving she absent mindedly reached out and prodded at a rose in the front garden.
“Are you going to prune these?” She asked, with a definite tone in her voice.
“Er…..” I looked searchingly at her.
“Yes you are…” she began, proceeding to give a crash course in pruning whilst I frantically attempted to make mental notes.
Which is how I found myself out in the spring sunshine yesterday armed with a kneeling pad, secateurs and trowel. It wasn’t just the roses that needed tidying up, but the whole garden. After a wet and warm winter the weeds have had nothing short of a growth party and gone mad. I’d like to think three hours on hands and knees armed with tea and enthusiasm has meant I’ve got them all, but I might as well admit that sometimes I don’t know the difference between a weed and something I might have planted the previous season (although my rule of thumb is that if it’s growing well its a weed if it’s struggling it’s one of mine!).
The sun was so glorious that I couldn’t resist starting on the back garden too and found myself remembering that somewhere in the depths of a raised bed there were parsnips still waiting to be pulled. I’d read somewhere that you’re supposed to have harvested by now so I decided to investigate and couldn’t believe my luck. A veritable bushel (okay, maybe not quite that many) awaited me. One of my few triumphs from last year. Planted with no expectations at all, they fed us on Christmas day for the roast and have provided us with soup already this year, and here again enough for two more meals. Amazing.