As the hour goes forward, it’s all systems go for everything from the windowbox daffodils to the street magnolia
So that’s it. British Summer Time Sunday, slightly later this year. We’ve had meteorological spring for a month and the equinox was over a week ago. So is it all gardening systems go? Well, sort of, though it helps if you have a greenhouse, perhaps a polytunnel or even a tray on a windowsill.
Of course it will be brighter in the evening. Day workers get to go home in daylight, or in my case try to steal away for an hour or two in the vegetable patch. Our rooftop daffodils are all out, the street magnolia, too. Assorted frothy blossom colours my walk to the plot. I am currently obsessed with spring – with frogspawn and blackthorn flower.
So, I’ll start slowly with sowing hardier stuff and anxiously keep an eye on it. But though the days may be warmer the soil is still less so. For sure, I’ll cast my clout before May is out (though whether this means the month or the hawthorn flower I am still unsure), but I’ll hold back on, say, sowing most annual flowers for maybe another month.
I have endless arguments with myself, like Tom and Jerry’s angels and devils. One voice tells me to race away, it doesn’t want to wait. The other, more experienced (echoing perhaps my father), is still urging caution. It’s unclear which will win.
So I’ll begin by testing germination, sowing home-created hardy salad mixes made up from repeated packets of seed. Why do I buy more rocket and mizuna or mustard than I need, apart from the deranged idea that you can never have too much of a good thing?
Truth is I long for today, for sowing, the arrival and sweet release of summer as much now as I did as a kid. I guess I’ll never learn.
At least I hope not.
Allan Jenkins’s latest book Morning: How to Make Time is now out in paperback. Order it for £7.91 from guardian bookshop.com