The plot at the Hill wakes up sometime in the middle of March, but it takes this gardening blogger rather longer to come out of winter hibernation. In fact, it has take an email from total stranger saying, 'are there any more updates, or have you finished now?' to give me the required boot up the backside.
So, at the end of January I'd frozen my toes off at Ryton at the potato day and had all the spuds out chitting in egg boxes. And February being February I was not inclined to do very much at all, apart from venture out occasionally to pick delicious sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli.
March was very pleasant - the news full of drought warnings with it being such a dry winter - and I put in a couple of rows of carrots and parsnips, along with planting out the potatoes, and a bag of shallots and a bag of onions.
April, it rained. And rained. And just when you thought it could not rain any more - it rained. In a rare break in the rain, I got busy sowing - four trays of pots of various peas; four trays of pots of various dwarf beans; four trays of various climbing beans; cucumber, courgette and squash; peppers (late, I know) and tomatoes.
I figured that they could get on with sprouting whilst I got away from the rain for a week or so, leaving my neighbour with watering instructions (i.e. don't unless the seedling are keeling over with their tongues hanging out), and ending up frantically texting to ask him to EMPTY THE WATER OUT THE TRAYS as the weather reports were full of the woes of yet more rain into May. On the plus side, we aren't in a drought situation any more.
Where my plot is at the Hill, I am quite happy with plenty of rain - as long as I am not actually standing out in it - as the soil is quite free draining and the ground will welcome 'a good soak'. I would mind the rain very much if I was at the bottom of the Hill where John Badger is, as that is where all the rain drains down to, and there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.
Now, the spuds and garlic are all up, the weeds (reasonably) taming along with about a million errant raspberry suckers (which have made a determined bid to escape from the first fruit bed and have plans to rule the world), the brassicas finished and pulled up, the wigwams for the peas put up, and the compost bin is heaped unmanageably high.
The rhubarb being pulled, with sufficient in the freezer for a batch of wine, with plenty more to come.
And the world is still full of good-hearted gardeners, with the kindly Richard from three plots down foisting a great bag of his asparagus on me as I sighed and looked longingly at my young asparagus spears, not to be touched for another twelve months.
The world is a good place!