I have lived in Scotland for 10 years and yet, I still spend a large part of May drumming my fingers, waiting for it to get properly warm, sunny and spring like, instead of wet, cold and muddy. That dragging feeling I get as time slows to a drip as I wait for my flowers to bloom and my garden to take off must be similar to my children's long haul as they wait for Christmas every year (incidentally, Theo has started his list).
I wonder if it will ever sink in that we have a long way to wait between the time I want everything to start springing forth and it actually does. I am a terrible fuss, checking my seedlings, measuring progress, planting more and more because I want to feel like we are doing something on the long march to the growing season, which is at least 6 weeks behind the gardens of my Southern English friends.
While it may take many years more to learn that patience is required this time of year, its only taken me 1 year to learn that gardening with chickens around needs to be viewed as an all out war of the species. By this time last year, all of my seedlings and plants had been eaten and I was left with an essentially barren plot for the rest of the season. This year, each addition to the garden has been accompanied by super-charged protection.
From small grow tunnels (mine were £8 from Lidl and I can make 2-3 tunnels out of each kit) to a new fence and gate, I feel like we have at least some hope that I will meet my goal of having a vegetable garden this year.
Or if not, at least with the blackcurrants on course for an even bigger crop than last year, I will be able to drown my sorrows in a vat of cassis...