Where to begin? (148 days to go…)

by Max Akroyd

At the beginning?? Garden-wise that would be like finding the beginning of a spinning roundabout so you could jump on. When drunk.

Having limbered up by mucking out the piglets, I noted the weather was set unfair. Organising the greenshed it was, then. And in some ways that’s only right and proper because the seeds get sown in there and that could be the start of things – if you believe the egg comes before the chicken.

Itself only part of an old barn with extra plastic windows, the greenshed is a temple to make do and mend. Almost everything in there used to something else.

Only the propagators were ridiculously expensive purchases. (I bet an old electric blanket would have done just as well for a fraction of the cost. Electric shocks can be invigorating, you know…). But I must admit they have given good service over many years – now they’re held together with sticky tape it’s a great relief when their gentle heat permeates through the Sainsbury’s extra strong tin foil and onto my expectant hand. This annual ritual of laying on of hands and feeling the aura marks the start of the sowing season.

But this year I needed to find something to defend the seedlings a bit from that heat. For some reason, probably crappiness, the seed compost available here seems prone to baking rock hard on the propagators. I don’t even know what the green racks used to be part of (I hope it wasn’t Emma’s) but they’ll work a treat by holding the pots a couple of centimetres above the heat. Now for something to water the seedlings in. Bottom watering is where it’s at in my opinion. A bespoke greenhouse watering trough? No a manky old cat litter tray will do just fine… the cats will never know…