In with a bang!

In with a bang!

What an intense start to the year! Not so much with the plot but with life in general…

Exams for a couple of modules of RHS level 3, an interview for the Kew diploma that I fell apart in (what an absolute car crash of an interview despite everyone being so bloody nice!), new starters in the houseplants greenhouse at work (change is never easy) and Mum deciding to downsize from the home I grew up it so, while I know that it is definitely the right move, clearing out can get quite emotional.

My son Tom and his best mate Haydn are on anchor of the south coast of Sardinia, the radio having packed in and problems with their coloured lights that identify them when sailing at night. The boys set sail just before the mention of Covid and have spent most of their big adventure stuck in quarantine or locked down in various ports. They’re hoping to begin the journey home soon and then refill the coffers and try again. I just want them to sail me somewhere warm, where I can enjoy tropical plants in the wild. Costa Rica was always on the list, even more so now I have been to the…

…Kew Gardens Costa Rica Orchid Festival of 2022.

A great day out with the best of friends 🙂

Before the Kew visit, I had another lovely day exploring Cambridge University Botanical Garden, this time taking Mr S along for the ride. I had heard how lovely the winter garden they have there is and it didn’t disappoint in loveliness. It isn’t a large garden but what it lacks in size it makes up for in colour and scent! The headiness of Sarcococca, the bright hues of Cornus, a stunning Betula utilis var. jacquemontii (I think) shining in the weak winter sun. Gorgeous.

The glasshouses were also great – I love the old Victorian vent controls and the layout using a glassed walkway leading off to various smaller houses each set to accommodate the plants of a type. An arid cacti house, a warmer, wetter tropical area, an alpine house open to the cool but protected from the wet. A much smaller site than Kew but it packs a lot in.

Pictures from C.U. Botanical Garden

Wintertime is for making plans for the gardening year ahead, pruning and sorting the housekeeping side of the plot/garden but it is also so important to get out and enjoy nature, gardens and big muddy puddles! It is all too easy to hit the hibernation button (I know as I’ve done it a few times!) and curl up with a cuppa in front of the tellybox…. this is ok too on occasion but if the sun is shining, a walk in the country or a visit to a garden, a potter at the plot or a trip to a local garden centre just helps keep me connected and grounded.

A good walk in the country ending up at a great country pub who do a fab Sunday lunch is the best way to break free of January blues! Luckily where I am in St Albans we have some fab walks, countryside and pubs on our doorstep. I know those in the centre of larger cities aren’t so privileged but get on to your local facebook pages or wildlife trust and they’ll have loads of places to visit that are accessible to you.

I’ve looked back, now to look forward…. Spring is upon us in a meteorological definition, about to arrive in the astronomical definition. Either way, it is proven more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas in most of the UK, so watch the weather forecasts and any tender plants or early sowings. I’m about to plant out my first earlies (Jazzy this year) and while in quite a sheltered spot I am definitely keeping fleece to hand.

It’s also getting to the point when it’s time to get sowing… don’t forget to look locally for seed swaps/ young plant swaps so you get a good range and maybe try something new…

Take care and stay safe,

Love Lucy

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