March, being March, has thrown everything plus the kitchen sink into the spring weather mix so far this year. The month began on a cooler than normal note with north westerlies chilling the early green shoots; cool gave way to cold and cold became five days of sleet, snow and icy nights. We’ve had blustery sunshine, driving rain, slate grey skies and localized flooding. March many weathers has delivered in style, but spring is here and nature’s urge to get up and growing is now insuppressible. As conditions allowed, we stomped the monster’s measure and have managed to get the Javelin parsnip seed to bed, and also move the Stuttgarter sets from their starter pots into terra firma, along with the Ailsa Craig seedlings and a new variety we are trying for the first time this year, Pink Panther, a small reddish-pink French variety.
The Moneymaker have been potted on as have the aubergine and pepper seedlings. We will go again with the petunia seed mix; we took our eye off them and they dampened-off, not surprising given the chill weeks at the start of the month.
The national holiday has come and gone and we, as a nation celebrated in style with many towns and villages organizing St Patrick’s Day parades for the first time since before the pandemic. The usual global greening of many of the world’s well know structural landmarks has been curtailed as a show of acknowledgement of having to be environmentally responsible, but there was the usual national greening with all-and-sundry decked-out in a fabulous array of jumpers and cardies, badges and rosettes, hats and scarves, shamrocks and harps and then to ice the cake it seemed the whole country watched as our rugby team delivered on years and years of promise.
We have, at last, tripped the other side of the equinox. There is now more day than night; not so much dark, and slowly increasing light.
Feverfew and tarragon, camomile and chives, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme all the early fayre of the herb bed, waving green in a celebration of what spring brings.
All things being equal March has so far done what we expect March to do every year. We’ve managed to have the year’s first produce from the measure with some absolutely fabulous early rhubarb from the Timperley Early stools. We have so many packets of seed to empty and sow in the next 4 weeks, but we will balance hope and expectation with effort and creation and perhaps achieve a certain equanimity for the monster’s measure as we stride into spring this year.