Time to learn patience as Easter crowds fill garden centres
Easter, when garden centres make the most money, like Christmas for M&S. When more trays of seedlings and small plants, new secateurs and sacks of compost are sold than any other time. Cars queueing laden with hope and bored kids, longing for teenage freedom.
It’s the big gardening weekend of the year, deep enough into spring, a time of renewal and resurrection when most of us feel free to shrug off winter, get shaken out of our lethargy and poke around the garden or plot.
A time for planning, hoping for days clear of cold rain (April can be cruel). Allotments fill up with people, like visiting a neglected aunt, dutifully carrying a bag or two of leggy plants.
Covers are removed, hoes taken out, weeds carried to the communal compost. For many, maybe most, their allotment year starts here while the old lags look indulgently on.
On the Danish coast, where we will be, shops are stacked with daffodils, called Easter lilies there. Danish spring is a full three weeks behind England – autumn three weeks earlier. Special beers are sold, pots of paint for wintered summerhouses, trays of sausages and steaks for the barbecue. Meals will be eaten outside, sunsets taken by the sea, rosa rugosa already stirring, wood anemone, hepatica, cowslips, too.
Back at the plot, backs will ache, wheelbarrows fill. Talk will be exchanged about summer plans, thoughts about what we will grow this year. Howard will sigh when I mention amaranth and orache. I have grown fond of their chaotic growth and colour. I am waiting on hazel sticks and sweet pea seedlings from a farmer friend’s greenhouse. I get itchy by Easter, have to fight the urge to get everything in. Maybe this will be the year I learn patience.
Order Morning: How to Make Time by Allan Jenkins, for £7.91, from guardian bookshop.com