Yesterday, I visited the shop at the local allotments. The allotment holders who run it know the local conditions and always give good advice. Although I have chitted my first early potatoes I was advised that it is still too cold to plant them out, something I had suspected. If the sprouts grow much more I shall plant them in pots and ease them into the ground later on.
In need of something cheerful, I bought a pot of Little Red Riding Hood tulips. I really like their dark green and white striped leaves and pillar box-red flowers. I've put the pot in a ceramic container on the front doorstep to welcome visitors when the tulips flower.
I also bought second early potatoes to chit, and a desert gooseberry bush which should produce large red and yellow striped berries. I dream of having home grown fruit, soft and stone all year round - in the winter I rely on bottled and frozen fruit. Last year it was so wet that my strawberries rotted, this year it's been so cold and wet with icywinds that farmers are badly affected. This means the prices of vegetables will go up. Deep sigh.
Today, unless it's really too cold I shall make a start on clearing out the greenhouse, and setting my second early potatoes to chit. While doing so I shall think of gardeners in the past, particularly in mediaeval times when the sequel to my novel set in Edward IInd's reign will be set.